Wednesday, April 29, 2009


The difference between being 56 and 26 is that at 56, I finish a good book and I think – hmm, let me send it to someone who may enjoy it. At 26 I would have thought – a nice addition to my collection. I’ll savor it sometime in the future. (The adding of books to your collection was very very cool.)

At 56, there isn’t much that I want to collect. Living in a very small condo leads me to buy only things that someone can swallow and digest, hopefully within the next week. Sometimes, I imagine that I could purge even more of the nonessentials that I have and that my closets would become almost bare and I would live out of the equivalent of a suitcase. Okay, two suitcases. Winter clothes use up space.

I like small, empty spaces. With sunlight streaming in.

Which, of course, brings me to the matter of the writer's shed. For newcomers to Ocean – Ed has been building a shed for me on his property, where I could spend long stretches of time writing. Last summer we cleared space, and with the help of Amos, the shed went up. Here it is – a simple, airy building.


The shed project was stalled because Ed began to understand (finally) that this particular writer is attached to the concept of running water within the premises she inhabits. It could be that the first years of life, spent in my grandparents’ house in a village in Poland (where there was no electricity, no running water, and certainly no WiFi) really took its toll. And so now Ed is lost in the slow process of imagining how water might be introduced without great cost or effort. Everything is on hold until the creative juices push him forward. I understand that. My own creative impulse is equally unpredictable.

Meanwhile, I noted that the truck farmers working the land next to Ed's are also in the process of putting up a shed. Daughter passes nails to father, father hammers away.


The difference between the farmers’ shed and the writer's shed? Well, of course, there’s the intent behind it: ours is for daydreaming and, when the impulse strikes, writing. Theirs is for storing tools and creating shelter in case of a cloudbreak (I’m guessing here). Still, to me, the overriding difference is this -- theirs will be done much, much faster than ours. Which is a good thing, considering.