The last week was incredibly stressful. When school ends, the library has to be in a certain state of order. This isn’t just convincing students and teachers to return their borrowed materials, but putting every single item in our 13K item collection in its proper place, inventorying the whole thing and then searching for the things we couldn’t account for to begin with, sending out notices to students who have lost books and not made good for them and dealing with parents who think we’re somehow targetting their precious babies unjustly. It all adds up to complete exhaustion and snappy attitude. Stress is such a problem that I try my best to clear my soul of it. I usuallly have a massage at least once a month to help keep myself blanced, and I meditate whenever I can. Exercise and dance do wonders for stress reduction as well. But the occasional week pops up that’s so intense nothing helps. I can’t believe my family hasn’t locked me away already. The worst part has been that I couldn’t write a single word all week. I wanted to…oh lord, how I wanted to. But by the time I got home at night, there was no energy to even think. I would find myself falling asleep over my keyboard at nine o’clock. The need to write became desperate, a physical craving that ached in my belly.
Luckily, every year during the week after school lets out, we go to the beach with my parents and sister. We don’t plan any side trips while we’re here. We get up, hit the beach, swim and sun and read and nap. And I write. I do it on paper, since carrying the laptop to the sand is just asking for trouble. But now that I’m breathing again, and sleeping enough, and not dealing with fifty people demanding my energy and time, it’s like the first time I ever tried writing. I’m completely excited by all the characters in my head. Scenes flash through like glittering movie trailers, except I like all of them, and I can’t wait to write them down. I started hearing two characters from the new project. their voices as clear and individual as if they were real people.
Last night the moon was full. My husband and I walked down to the beach in the dark, and stood for a long time staring at the path of light the moon made on the water. Suddenly a cloud moved in front of the moon, obliterating the path and leaving only a patch of moonlight far out to sea. In the middle of that patch a boat’s lights glimmered, and I started musing aloud about what I saw. The musing grew into a scene, one I had to get onto paper. I flew back to the house to make sure I wouldn’t lose it.
The last week was awful, but now that it’s over, I feel like I’m breathing out at last. And it feels so good.