And yet more rain, as if the ground can possibly absorb any more. Flood watches in effect, not surprisingly. We've been coping with naps, movies, books, and copious amounts of couch cat-cuddling sessions.
There is work to be done, even if the weather is begging me to bury myself in books until the rain passes. Which reminds me of this:
Like many others who turned into writers, I disappeared into books when I was very young, disappeared into them like someone running into the woods. What surprised and still surprises me is that there was another side to the forest of stories and the solitude, that I came out that other side and met people there. Writers are solitaries by vocation and necessity. I sometimes think the test is not so much talent, which is not as rare as people think, but purpose or vocation, which manifests in part as the ability to endure a lot of solitude and keep working. Before writers are writers they are readers, living in books, through books, in the lives of others that are also the heads of others, in that act that is so intimate and yet so alone.
This being a relentless vexation for me. I am solitary by nature, but my work and family are not. I could give up neither, but each is in direct contrast to the other. To be too solitary means loosening the ties I hold most dear, and to externalize myself too much leaves me feeling untethered to my core. Balance between the two requires constant tweaking, like choosing to sit in the back-seat during a four-hour family drive this past weekend so I could read a book instead of being forced to converse. Bonus when the book's contents give you good conversation material later, such as with The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey (who was really Elizabeth MacKintosh). Your word this week from, "One of the Best Mysteries of All Time - The New York Times":