Incoming Message from the Universe: Just Get a Room

The Apple website serves as the start-up page on my browser, and last week it hosted a tribute to Steve Jobs on the one-year anniversary of his death. In voice-over, Steve spoke:

“There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love, ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.’”

For just about two days, that noteworthy quote greeted me every time I went online. I say “just about” because the voice-over was accompanied by Yo-Yo Ma’s rendition of Bach’s Prelude No. 1 in G Major for Cello. Love the quote, totally respect Steve Jobs, and Yo-Yo rocks, but I could not take hearing “dum da dah da dah dah dum da dah da dah dah” one. more. time.

And then I got to thinking…surely there is a better way to greet the internet every day than the uber-present Apple, which gets far-and-away enough product placement as it is. So I switched over to a meditation site that posts inspiring quotes and images everyday. Some food for thought—soul food, perhaps?

Yesterday’s post read as follows:

Use the talent existence has given you 
because when using it, 
your being is nourished, 
it dances, it sings, it is happy,
it is in tune with existence. 
These are the signs. — Dharma

That message was still making its way through my grey matter when I met with a writer-friend for lunch yesterday. What would we do, we asked each other, if we could not do this work we do — she her book-writing, me my book-designing. “I would write more,” I told her. “I need to write more.”

“What stops you?” she asked, and I gave her my well-trod litany of explanations: the business, deadlines, household chores. I have been here before — the left-brain reasonings falling like flimsy excuses at the feet of the right. It is the red-blue stalemate of my daily existence: that which I must do and that which I love.

When I arrived home, an email from Poets & Writers Magazine was waiting in my inbox. I noticed it right away from its subject line:

How to Balance Your Writing with Everything Else

Online, a Freshly Pressed blog caught my attention as well. In it, poet John Davis talked about finding one’s way to regular Writing in Real Life.

“Just because life demands greater attention to things of necessity doesn’t mean that I should completely cast aside any and all writing endeavors. And neither should you.”

It was no accident, I realized then, that I just happened to drop a copy of Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones into my purse on Saturday; that I just happened to have time to read it while waiting for a friend; that I just happened to open to a page that read:

“If you want a room to write in, just get a room.”

No accident at all.

• • •

©2012, Jen Payne

16 thoughts on “Incoming Message from the Universe: Just Get a Room

  1. i have that book, too – Writing Down The Bones – it doesn’t help me write more, tho – and i have a couple of rooms to write in, but somehow i don’t always sit down and write when i’m in them… i had a fragment of a poem in my head a few days ago, and tried writing it down, but the rest of it never formed, so i left it alone… sometimes i really want to write, but mostly i just think about it a lot – for me, it just means making a choice, which i don’t always make, to sit down and write… yet here i am, reading your post and, instead of just going on to something else, i’m writing a comment about choosing to write or not to write, right now (write now?) – how serendipitous it all is when it just happens!

    1. I don’t know about you, but when I set my mind to the task of writing – the writing comes. But, it IS a choice. For sure. Do I watch TV, check my email, surf the internet, wash dishes…or, hey! maybe I could write! There are only so many hours in a day, so many days in a week…so much time to be writing. : )

  2. I like “the Sound of Paper” by Julia Cameron, it just nudges me to do something creative no matter how small. Procrastination is one thing that is hard to always fight off. Diana Nyad had it right “What will you do with your wild precious life?”

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