In February, I traveled to a women lifewriters conference in Austin, TX and entered a silent auction for a book by a writer I had met 9 years earlier in Manhattan. At another women writers conference. She autographed her first book, A Voice of Her Own, about women and journaling.
Mine was the top bid for the auction book, and so I happily took home Simple Days by the remarkable Canadian writer, Marlene Schiwy.
So many parts of the book spoke straight to my heart, I’ve taken it as my guide for this year. “…we end up feeding false hungers,” she writes,” while our genuine yearning for meaning goes unaddressed.”
She writes, walks, sews, bakes muffins and teaches writing workshops.
I write, walk, quilt, teach memoir workshops…and freelance for two papers, substitute at a public library, practice yoga, read a LOT, belong to four writers’ organizations, watch too much TV news, spend too much time on the Internet, and worry about my kids in my spare time.
Do you see why I want to be like her?
A simple life, she writes, demands “constant vigilance against the seductions of productivity and importance.”
My Off Kilter life is seduced by the demand for recognition. But I want to write well, and that takes time. And is not productive for a long time. Until I get it right.
With Simple Days as my guide, I am balanced on the edge of contentment.