Friday, May 16, 2008

The thing about being a writer. And a gypsy. And (theoretically) practical.

The thing about being all of these things, is that they constantly pull against each other. And that I find myself wanting so many (often contradictory) things at once. Upon writing and selling this novel that fills up so much space in my mind and heart these days, I find that the dream of being a real live writer suddenly seems just a little bit possible. And it is all I want. I’ve finished revisions on PI (for which the title has changed. More on this to come.) and my brain and heart, while still with the twins, is also filled and focused on Jacob and Rory and the twisting side streets of Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood… which brings me to the gypsy part. Because I lived in this neighborhood, and found myself quite ready to leave it a year ago for this beloved New York. And what I find now is this deep and physical longing for this Rome. And Berlin. And the Santorini hillside where I spent one of my very best weeks, and the thin crowded “beach” of Anguillara and a rainy camping trip to Monte Argentario and a strange and terrifying overnight bus through central Turkey. And the places I’ve never been. Baltic beaches and Bulgarian mountains.

I want to sell everything. How can I own a couch (quite practical) when I am quite incapable of staying still for more than ten months? (it used to be two years but, well, the older I get…) and where can I go next? But o. The practical. Because I’m not quite so young as I once was. And my resume is close to three pages. And each job—significantly different from the one before. And I’m not particularly good at any one of these chosen pursuits (gypsy-ing and writing stories don’t count) And shouldn’t I have a savings account? Shouldn’t I have a career? Shouldn’t I have a plan?

But really. The greatest feeling in the world is when I am writing a story (by hand. With a pen) and the sun feels hot on the left side of my face. I’m on a plane. I’m in the window seat. I’m going somewhere I’ve never been. It’s summer.

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