It’s been awhile since I’ve been really inspired. I don’t know if it’s the past few months that have depleted my mental and physical constitution or if it’s just that time of year where we all slow down. We assess the past year and look back thinking how did a year go by and I didn’t do this or that?
Yesterday I went into the city. I’ve not done that in awhile. I got up yesterday morning and looked out the window and saw snow everywhere. Not a major snowstorm, just snow covering the streets and yard and car.
I’m emailing/texting my writerly friends to tell them I just don’t feel like it, I thought to myself.
I took a shower, grumbling, thinking about how cold it was going to be. I had to drive a half a mile, park my car, buy a ticket, get on the train and ride the train forty-five minutes. As I was scrubbing my face, I said aloud, “It’s all how you look at it. You can bitch about it or look at it as an adventure. It’s up to you.” I chose the latter and layered up; leggings, socks, jeans, shirt, sweater, Michelin-man coat, boots, gloves and got in my car and left, barely making the 9:26 train.
On the Way There
I don’t know if the train guys/girls love their job or what, but they are always in a good mood. “Ticket, please?” The nice man said with one of those melodic, islandly-type accents. I gave it to him and told him that the parking meter thing that I put money into was gone. It was there before the hurricane and I was worried I’d get a ticket.
“No, don’t worry, it’s Sunday. They won’t check. Have a nice day, now, okay?” He smiled — a big, beautiful smile, punched my ticket with a click, click, click and left. I settled in to read. A little bud of inspiration was beginning to seep into me already.
The Tick-Tock Diner in Manhattan
Our writing group, which is four of us, met when we took a fiction writing class in the city in 2011. After the weekly class ended, we’d kept meeting, once a month. We’d not been able to meet for awhile because of everything that had been going on. But through emails last month, we decided to meet at the Tick Tock Diner.
It’s all rush-rush there and I’m usually the first one there because of train/subway/bus schedules. I used to be timid but I’ve learned you just walk in and say, “My friends will be here soon and I want a booth now please.”
They don’t like that. They’d prefer you to wait, shivering at the door, until your entire party shows up. My bored waiter acted as if he was just tolerating me.
“So, ya havin’ more people comin’ in or what?” He stands there with his pad, looking at me as if he’s got way better things to do than take my order.
“Yes, they’ll be in soon,” I say confidently. “I’ll take some coff—,” and he walks away. In a few minutes, he brings me a cup of coffee. He’s not rude, I’ve learned. He’s got a very dry sense of humor. I like him.
Ten minutes later, my friends show up. None of us had written anything but that was okay. It’s was as if we’d just seen each other yesterday. We tell each other what’s been going on in our lives. How we’ve felt bogged down, uninspired and how we’ve got to start writing again. We reminisce about how we all used to write like crazy. We felt excited, inspired.
One of them said before leaving, “We have to keep meeting. Doing this. This is the only link I have that inspires me to keep doing this. Writing.”
Home Again, Home Again
I got on the train and settled in to read again. It’s Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick.
Quick “settled” for a living as a high school English teacher where he’d tell his students to “take risks and do amazing things.” He felt like a hypocrite so he quit his job, traveled then moved into his in-law’s basement for three years. And wrote.
It’s those tiny moments of inspiration. What made me decide to go in yesterday? Was it the cucumber melon body wash in the shower? Was I so sick of my own mire that I thought, enough already?
Whatever it was, I’ll take it.
Whatever is in front of me, whatever is in front of you, the question is: What inspires us to finally, just finally DO IT.
Happy Monday everyone and press play below to get inspired. Because some ga-roovy music always does it, at least a little bit, for me.
What’s inspired you lately?