My Thoughts Were So Loud...

Everyone is gone this afternoon and I am alone for the first time in weeks with my thoughts. It's a good feeling, this - everyone should be comfortable rattling around in their own heads once in a while. For me, it's peaceful - the constant need for conversation and interaction when other people are around is hard for me to maintain indefinitely. I imagine I could do rather well as a hermit, though I'm not interested in a cloistered life. The little silences I come by from time to time are enough.

It's been a long, hot summer. I haven't written much at all, only collected ideas on little scraps of paper like a squirrel saving up nuts for winter. I have them all over, in my journal, on my desk in a little shuffling pile, even as voice memos on my phone. I just spit them out, from time to time, as if my writing self is just trying to remind me she is there, waiting, albeit not terribly patiently.

The weather this summer has been uncommonly hot and dry. Louisiana in summer is normally hot, yes, but not Arizona hot. Not West Texas hot. It is supposed to rain here, nearly every day, in afternoon thunderstorms that darken the skies and send cool breezes. Most of this summer has instead been dry, and eerily quiet. Tempers are on edge. Lots of people are angry, and restless. So far even the hurricanes have been kept at bay, though as we learned with Andrew in '92 that type of summer can end badly.

My kids and I have spent a lot of time down at my mom's old place, cleaning up and restoring her gardens. We sweat buckets, work until we're about to drop, and then have a picnic lunch followed by a dip in the local river and later on, a visit to Sonic. My children have had a taste of what my summers were like as a child, and that makes me happy indeed. My daughter calls herself a 'country girl' now, and wants to move there permanently, and to that I laugh, though a little sadly. Not yet, my girl. Not yet.

It's also been the summer of the vampire around here. The LOML and I have been watching True Blood on HBO, and reading Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse novels. Last night I finished Let Me In, the book upon which Let the Right One In was based. My kids have been dressing up in an old bat costume and running around pretending they have fangs. It's lent an air of surrealism to this place, but I consider that a good thing. I'm happy that my kids are inheriting a penchant for the fantastic.

In any case, though the heat refuses to let go, summer will be winding down soon. The kids go back to school on Tuesday, and after settling them in, I'll go back to writing. I'll miss them, but I've missed that creative outlet as well. It's never been about the money for me (that's a good thing, too, cause I make practically zippo); it's about loving to tell stories. About finding magic in the world, and, failing that, creating magic myself, stories and people and lives out of thin air. I wouldn't change my life for anything, and I gladly give up my summers to make those memories with my children. I want them to remember these days when I'm gone, remember me as more than just a shadow at the computer. But there's another side of me as well, and she's calling to me. She has always called to me. And sooner or later, I always have to answer.

08 August 2009


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