I'm home now. The drive was smooth - partly because I expected the rush hour traffic I met since I left about 4:30pm, partly because I had an iced soy latte beside me, and partly because I'd just had several days of completely unscheduled time. Alone - well, not really alone, I was sitting three feline friends. But the three cats and I got along immediately and fell into a nice sleep, wake, eat, rest, brush, play, eat rhythm. The porch had beautifully arranged potted plants - cactus and grassy greens and flowering bunches - and chairs for sitting, watching the cottonwood snow, brushing the cats.
So hitting rush hour Seattle traffic was expected and it didn't phase me. Honestly, it wasn't any worse than what I hit at least a couple times a week on the outbound Sunset (I've temporarily forgotten the new name - but Highway 26 westbound, whatever name you call it). Except the Sunset is only 4 lanes at its widest point and Seattle's I-5 South is 7. But the backup and resulting 10-20 mph is the same.
So the just over three-hour drive was over four hours. With a brief stop for gas when the "low" light came on (I thought I could make it back to Portland for a fill-up and a car wash simultaneously - but, no) and a 20 minute stop for a quick authentic chicken enchilada plate at a Mexican cafe.
A lot of time to think. Reflect on the time and what I did and didn't accomplish. And realize that whatever I did or didn't do was just what I needed to do right now.
I did write. But not as much as I thought I would. And "as much as I thought I would" was just a little bit unrealistic (insert sarcastic up lilt in my voice). I did get last week's assignment done and this week's quick write and I've read some of the other writers' stories to prepare for giving feedback. And this week's assignment is knocking around in my head, though nothing on the page yet.
I did read. I really got into "I'm Looking Through You - Growing up Haunted: A Memoir," although I had to stop two nights and put it off until daylight, as I was afraid it might give me bad dreams. It's a memoir and it's not scary, per se; definitley on horror genre or anything like that. But those two nights the ghost and divining was a little too intense for my brain at bedtime. I read a lot of the book. I didn't crack the Stephen King which I got waylaid on a couple of weeks ago and haven't gotten back into it yet. Not because it isn't good - I really enjoy it, really. But it needs longer periods of time than I've had and I was into "...Haunted." My thoughts that I would finish both books in what amounted to 3 full days and 2 partial days was unrealistic.
And I rested. No alarms. No appointments. No place I had to be except there and to feed, water, and scoop poop for the cats, water the plants. That was what I needed most and that was what I got most - down time.
On the drive home and now as I get ready for bed, I feel more creative. I feel there is space for contemplating my writing and editing and space to move in my words and to arrange them into stories.
Time. Rest. I think these are a couple of my most important writer tools.