I first came to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden the day after I arrived in New York, on a drizzly Saturday morning. The garden was full of wisteria and rows of lush blossoming lilacs and the tail ends of cherry trees and tulips. When I went back again this Tuesday, it as all bluebells and peonies and huge shocks of azaleas. Rhododendrons that had just budded on my first visit erupted a week and a half later.
It’s like visiting a museum where the exhibit is constantly changing.
I am currently housesitting for a friend in New York for a couple of weeks. There is such a pleasure in the change of pace of working in this city after a month of writing in rural Virginia.
I am finding during this stage of the book writing process a strong inclination toward introversion. In my borrowed New York City apartment, I read for hours every morning, take long walks around the neighborhood, through the Botanical Gardens, the park. I read random articles and book snippets in the Brooklyn Public Library and in bookstores and from an abandoned copy of the New York Times at a nearby cafe. I text my friend Erin and tell her what I plan to work on in my book that day.
Otherwise, I am so happy to be alone with my thoughts.
There is so much labor involved in book-writing. So much time that is pure work, so much thinking and inhabiting and imagining. I need so deeply to be alone with both the work of bookwriting, and the sometimes unrelated thinking that surrounds it.
In these years after my divorce, these unexpected years of my early thirties, I seem to be living in each span of months. Planning my life in spurts of centeredness and certainty. I do not know what the next spurt will bring me. I know only the rightness of this moment. And that I will need this time alone with my thinking in order to get to whatever’s next ahead of me.