The Luxury of Time (53)

I love being in bed like this, all the windows and the sliding glass door open, my birds busy at their morning feeding, the mountains close and comforting, my tea warm beside me, sunlight on the blankets, knowing my writing time and my sitting practice lie before me. It makes me think maybe I could use this as a lure, as a reward, a way to become more productive in my day. If you get the essays graded, you can have a second set of writing and sitting practice today. A bribe, really. I moved these two to the very beginning of my day to mark their priority and to be certain they didn’t go undone in the course of endless busy weeks. It began as a commitment, an effort, and now it is a pleasure, a gift, even. It makes me wonder what other things might transform themselves. Dishes, sweeping, making the bed, taking out the trash, cooking–when I don’t feel the need to rush through them I don’t mind them at all, can even enjoy them. In fact, that may be the secret to this morning time, too. It is not that I didn’t already like writing, like sitting practice, but they didn’t have the pull of pure pleasure, like the appeal of reading a novel. So even though I enjoyed them, I didn’t long for them, didn’t reach for them in a busy busy day, didn’t always manage to carve out an hour or so for them like I would for a meal and a good book. But now that I’ve provided this time at the beginning of each day, there is all this room in them. Sometimes I have to be somewhere early in the morning, so I set my alarm. I might have less than an hour, their time curtailed. But most days, like not rushing through sweeping the courtyard or feeding the birds, I can take an hour, even a little longer, before I need to move on to my paid work. So I can let the writing come as it will, allow the sitting practice to unfold. And there is luxury in that. So these two things I know I want to do, these two things that are good for me, that might otherwise be “shoulds” smooshed into a too busy day, instead each morning before the busy-ness they beckon, lull, invite me to open my selves to them, filled with ease and promise.

4 thoughts on “The Luxury of Time (53)

  1. Love this post, Riba. Carving out writing time is like working out — it holds dread… but once I’m doing it I think: why don’t I do this seven days/week? I’m enjoying your focus on taking time to be in the moment and savor it. Your posts remind me to slow down, quiet the mind-chatter and settle into whatever I’m doing. Thank you.

  2. Oh, what lovely things to hear, Bart. Thank you.

    I will admit this is my freewriting time, though—not me working on one of my books or my blog posts, though sometimes a blog comes out of it. Once things get more back to normal for me (long story) I am hoping to carve out time for returning to work on my novel. I feel so certain if I can just become immersed in it then I can get swept up in it and want to carve out even more time! ;-)

    But when you go on retreat you put in huge numbers of hours each day. I have not yet had a writing retreat, but it is hard to imagine I would work the way you do. It is so impressive to me!

  3. I wish both of you the luxury of writing retreats ! Your postings already constitute a wonderful book of its own… and I hope too, that you will be published and soon recognized as the exceptionally fine writer (s ) that you are !

  4. Oh, thank you so much, Lisa. What wonderful wishes and praise! Funny, I was just talking this morning about one day having a book that is a collection of blog posts. . . .

    And Bart actually has a writing retreat coming up shortly in Morocco. ;-)

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