Today I’m sitting 15 feet from the beach – writing. MJ is up on the patio looking at the same view with her notebook and computer. K is at the dining room table, papers spread out around her. T is engaging with her new book perched at an old ping pong table. When it rained yesterday, we settled like a flock of birds in the living room and wrote, the room full of the sound of clicking computer keys.
Usually my writing chair is a rather hard wooden
chair at Starbucks, or a more cushy booth seat at Panera – both great places to
write because they have food. (I regret to say that I have become addicted to
the lemon pound cake at the former and the shortbread cookie at the latter.)
Today though I am writing while sitting on a chair
with an awning, looking out at the silver blue lake. A pontoon boat floats
aimlessly 25 feet off shore. To my left, S’s bathing suit hangs drying
on a lawn chair. To my left, another chair has a towel hanging off of it, as
well as my discarded water bottle. There is no pound cake, sadly, but I’d be
pretty ungrateful if I complained about the view.
It’s true that I’m writing like crazy, but it’s
probably not because of the sailboat. Time is the thing. When you go on a
writing retreat, there is no retreat involved. You advance forward boldly onto
the metaphorical page because you have the time. Because the day is empty of
obligation. Because your sister is sitting on the other side of a sturdy
plastic table, writing a poem: this powerful camaraderie of words allows for no retreat.