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Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Writing Life: Changing Your Force of Habit




When I can, I love to escape from C’est si Bon! and write at a café to cut down on the distractions I find at home and the pressure to multitask. At the café I can’t hear the ding of the phone, the ring of the dishwasher (prompting me to do something) only the sing of the birds or the drone of a generator on a truck parked behind the café. I can be undistracted, and get to work. Yes, there are times I stop and talk to people who also come day after day. But if you do this all the time, what have you accomplished in leaving home?




One thing I struggled to control was this wandering mind. But then with advice, found a way to gain the upper hand. Lately I’ve been trying to medi-write. No, not writing on medication, though, maybe... No! What I have been doing is picturing a pond or a puddle and each new thought that comes to the edge skulking about just falls into the water. One day I will strain out the pond. But not today.  

My eye wandered, though my mind was rigorously focused.




Out of the corner of my eye I’ve been studying one lady who arrived almost at the same time as me. We greet each other now, but have not gone so far as to introduce ourselves. That is a big step.

She claimed not one but two tables pushed together. And one day when she was “late to work” she told the young man sitting there that she “had her eye” on him for when he left she was going to swoop in and reclaim “her” table. She was very light-hearted about it but it made me think we’re all such creatures of habit. And I asked myself to not get too stuck in my “new” routine, lest it be interrupted by an outside force, called life.

One of my main concerns though was power and that restricts my experience to certain areas of the cafe. (Ha-ha, I meant electrical power, but I see a Freudian slip here) I love being outside... And free.

But my dilemma or (distraction) to worry over where would I sit if the table I was used to sitting at was quell horror, taken. I arrive by 7:30, sometimes even by 7 am but realized I was panicking over a plan, if that ever changed.




On one hand I could not and nor would really want to be in control of the wonderful happenings around me that – have a quirky life of their own.

And so, I decided each day to sit in a new seat, and not wait to have “mine” taken. From there I can be free to entertain new perspectives, breezes and whispers as they arrive.




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