Absent Yet Present

It begins with hearing another voice in my head. When I’m driving, folding laundry, doing all the ordinary things that have to get done, words come to me. Eventually images follow and I sit down and write. When I’m not writing I really try to pay attention, to be present in the now, but soon my disobedient mind is wandering far away. Imagine a computer with three windows, past, present, and future, like Ebenezer’s Christmas spirits. I have perfected looking a person in the eye, giving that nod to show I am listening, interjecting a quiet word like really! Or yes! To pretend I am following. But I am not. Instead I am remembering an overheard conversation, or imagining my character’s next scene. I can’t seem to keep my brain where it needs to be, the present. Restless, roaming, looking for the right word or the almost right word, as Mark Twain would say, I let the pasta boil too long, the chops turn into char-b-Q, the marinara run over the pot in rivulets like the red sea. When I want to be writing I find it hard to pay attention, to fix this mind of mine on what is happening right now. When the right word strikes I hurry to the computer, forgetting to turn off the stove.


8 thoughts on “Absent Yet Present

  1. Elena August 10, 2014 / 9:08 am

    Beautiful. It has obviously been time well spent! Looking forward to enjoying more of your lyrical musings.


    • Jackie August 10, 2014 / 9:18 am

      Thank you Elena for encouraging the bemused (confused?) state.


  2. Marlena Baraf August 10, 2014 / 8:19 pm

    I am going to watch you more carefully, Jackie, for telltale signs of dreaming up words when you are pretending to listen to me.


    • Jackie August 10, 2014 / 8:31 pm

      Thank you, Marlena. I ‘ll try to stay present.


  3. lbolwell August 11, 2014 / 9:06 pm

    Jackie, I can so relate to this..have never really been able to explain it properly, the phenomenon of not being able to control my need to paint. Now I’ll just refer people to this blog page!
    Nice job!


    • Jackie August 11, 2014 / 9:43 pm

      What a thoughtful comment. Thank you, Lynn. Love looking at your paintings on line. Hope to see them up close and personal soon.


  4. janet mayer August 27, 2014 / 12:19 pm

    Jackie,How lucky we are that you feel the gravitational pull of a “born” writer and that we, the readers, will be the beneficiaries of your great talent and wisdom!


    • Jackie August 28, 2014 / 10:42 am

      I’m the fortunate one – to have such a rave! Thank you!


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