Here’s a theory. There’s no such thing as writer’s block. There may be, however, a temporary inability to write anything worth reading. So, I sit here at a maple-topped table in the town library, twisting as the sun from the palladium window beside me casts a glare, patting my fingers on the keyboard while shifting, then crossing my legs in my seat.
I’ve responded to email, checked Middle Passages, commented on comments, read the blogs I follow, and investigated an on-line writing class--on on-line writing--that I plan to sign up for this afternoon. Perhaps then, I’ll make some sense of Twitter. Oh, and I’ve watched a sleek, silver and purple train slide by the snow piles, swing sets and castles adorning the ice covered playground, down the hill outside. Yes, I could go home and do some laundry. But Thursday is my mandatory, “Get out of the house day.” So, though the ice has inhibited my walking routine, I went to the bank and the grocery store, and, credit, where credit is due--wrote in my notebook for an hour in the French Café—which precipitated writer’s cramp, but the resulting content isn’t Middle Passages material.
The thing of it is, even when I’m struggling, I love this library. It used to do business as a school. From the outside it still looks like one--a red brick rectangular affair, with an arched center door; it muscles broad shoulders--creating deep shadows on the traffic that rounds a busy corner. The inside though, opens its arms and squeezes you with a hug of light and warmth, pulling you into one vast and welcoming room. Olive painted pillars support walls trimmed with stained, cove molding; floor-to-ceiling cherry book-stacks line one side. Waist-high shelves filled with mysteries run up the middle and rows of rectangular tables cover the Oriental carpet beside them. Underneath six massive windows, geometric upholstered chairs with matching plump ottomans beckon, and I think that maybe, it will be OK to sit there, in that one over there. Do you see it--the one where the sun is etching reproductions of the five-over-five window panes?
Perhaps I can give myself permission to curl up right there, to open a book and learn from someone else’s words, since today I’m having such a struggle coming up with my own.