Saturday, January 31, 2015
The Beautiful School
I flew back from Jamaica a week ago, fighting the flu, fighting waves of emotion, both of which laid me down for daytime naps in the midst of my great push to finish the book I am working on. I never take naps. I work from home and think of the daytime hours when everyone else is out of the house as sacred creative time. But there were moments this week when the words on the screen would get blurry and I'd want to lay my head down on the keyboard, and so I would get up from the desk and climb into bed, grateful I had the freedom to do so. There was a blizzard of the century that wasn't quite, and children yelling and sledding on the eight inches of snow that did fall, all of it happening outside my window, making me happy to be inside looking out. I felt a little nostalgic, remembering when I would have been out there with my own kids sliding down the slope on their brightly colored plastic discs, while I caught up with the other parents.
I did finish my book, or rather his book, as I am merely the ghostwriter. I have a complete first draft, everything but the introduction, which I am going to let come to me organically next week while I am in San Francisco beginning work in earnest on a new project. I fly out tomorrow at the crack of dawn. My sweet man is coming with me. He will be on his own while I interview my subject until the early afternoon each day, and then we will wander and explore into the evening. And there's another wine country trip with my cousin and her wife on our dance card. My husband and I always have such a great time in their company. We end up always in deep, side-splitting laughter that washes away everything dark or brooding in the soul.
Speaking of souls, the man whose story I have been writing is such a good one. I have looked forward to our weekly phone sessions and to the freedom to explore any question that comes up as we talk about his journey. It is, in every sense, a hero's journey; then again, he would say we are all on such a journey, whatever the particulars of our story. He left everything behind and went to live and study with monks in Thailand, and he has a particular perspective on the nature of reality and our collective experience here in this beautiful school we call earth. There is so much more, but of course I can't really share it here. I have enjoyed working on this book, though. I felt a strange peace after our conversations, and I know it was his gentle energy elevating the mood. I hope I am doing his story justice.