At a meeting recently, the person beside me pulled out a handwritten list and flipped it over a few times, reading. Because I’m me, I naturally tried to read that list. In between crossed out items, I read fold laundry.
A serious list-writer myself, that particular chore has appeared numerous times on my lists, along with buy cooking oil and go to dump. Isn’t a list a written map, in some ways, of who we are? Years ago, in between buy toilet paper and teach Molly to read, I had find publisher for novel. I’ve now crossed that item off my list, and now, simply, on every list I begin is write every day. While lists are inherently interesting, what may be more interesting is what doesn’t make lists. For years, while my marriage was disintegrating, I likely should have written either fix this or file divorce papers.
At this point, in my forties, I’d far prefer my lists to read write and fold laundry. I would have scoffed at that simple normalcy in my twenties, but now – a little more steady everydayness goes a very long way. That’s one more reason to savor homemade pickles – although here I am, writing, among veritable mounds of unfolded laundry…..
Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn’t matter. I’m not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for.
– Alice Walker