Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Aftermath Dedicated To Florence

Florence always said "sitting down is half the battle."

I never really thought she was sharing, just instructing. Giving me another piece of artist theory like the sight singing she drilled me in or the ear training we did every day until I was a teenager with too much fury to cooperate.

But she wasn't just talking to me. She was talking to herself, cooing at her own terrors and reminding them that once that butt hit the chair the rest would show up. All she had to do was sit down.

"Half the battle is sitting down," I'd murmur to myself as I ran through the city day after day, too frightened to face packed pages while there were friends still awake and meals to eat and second-hand furniture to consider.

Sitting down then came deep in the night when the air was cooler, the streets were quieter and the desperation to not go a day without writing stronger than the desperation to run away. And once the butt hit the chair the rest showed up pouring out of moving fingers while piles of life were discarded or pushed away for other times when sitting was not such a joy.

Sitting and sitting and sitting and one night, deep and late, something was finally finished.


Anonymous said...

Funny. I seem to get my best ideas when I'm involved in something else and can't get to paper or keyboard. By the time I do, I've forgotton all but the tiniest germ. I read somewhere, once upon a time, that if you can't get your mind to function, just start typing words. Sort of the monkey theory you know, if a monkey is left alone long enough at a keyboard it will eventually type a novel.
I'm glad your moms advice works for you.

Alana said...


VH McKenzie said...

"80 percent of success is just showing up." -- Woody Allen

Maybe he pinched that line from Florence!