The thing about going away is every day you stumble upon surprises. Like the morning I walked out the back of my hotel in Taos after breakfast. I dragged my fingers through the sage, and lifted them to my nose. The ground was damp from the remnants of the prior night's thunderstorm, and I noticed how my feet sunk a bit in the sandy soil. And then, in the midst of my wandering, a grave. An infant, from the teething toy left on the cross. It made me wonder how this child died, who she or he was, did the mother still mourn. Such a mystery.
Although I’ve been back almost 3 weeks from New Mexico, it still feels like yesterday. That’s when you can tell a break does what it's supposed to do—recharge, rejuvenate, reinvigorate. Every morning, I write, something that had stopped for a few months. What I want to do is dig back into PURE, move around the scaffolding, force Phoebe and Kevin to emote more. I have more troubles to throw Ben’s way, and a few more for the others. I want to feel like God with this book… but first, I have to finish my thesis, a totally different project, one a bit different from my first two novels. THE MINISTER’S WIFE is about family and home, and what that all means after betrayal and lies. It plumbs deeper psychological dirt than PURE, and interests me because of that depth. So I work hard on TMW, due September 4, and while my thesis advisor reads and critiques, I'll spend my down time on PURE.
Down time. Right. School starts in a couple of weeks. School for my kiddos, and school for the kiddos I teach. But I'm committed to re-enter both my books, and will find the time.
I miss my Taos friends. We talk by email, but I wish I could see them again, talk about books and writing under the sky of stars. There's something about the vast lonesomeness of the mountains that inspires conversation that matters. We intend to keep pushing each other through the next set of revisions, and I welcome their kind but exacting eyes on my words.
Mostly, I miss the intensity of Taos. Everything there feels magnified--the blue of the sky, the lightning that rips apart the summer night, the sage that grows to the horizon. The moments feel separable, unto themselves, not the blur that is Baltimore time, the dizzy rush from work to home to sleep. Taos time is like the pause one makes after the inhale and just before the exhale.
And that is my inspiration in the morning. The space in between breaths. Peace...