Sunday morning sounds: the neighbor's dog yapping, the planes flying overhead. A car with a broken muffler rumbles down the sleepy Pittsburgh city streets.
Off in the distance, a train whistles.
As I sit on my porch listening to some no-name indie band that can be interchanged with the next, sipping my coffee, and staring blankly at the book I still haven't finished, I think, "This is where I'm happiest. This is where I should be."
I should get up and be more productive - run errands, do household chores. You know, normal everyday tasks. But who says that sitting down, writing, dreaming, nurturing those creative muscles I've long allowed to atrophy isn't productive?
The breeze blows calmly, rustling the trees in the back yard. I hear my housemates start to wake. More coffees is brewing. I can smell pancakes through the open windows.
I'm drawing blanks. "Man, it has been a long time since I've written." But this is no time for writer's block. You need to work on this, Alison. You need to get better. Get back to where you used to be creatively - satisfied and always creating.
It should be like getting back on a bike. A little wobbly at first but you quickly pick it up again and ride off into the sunset.
This time it's been more like a rusted train, barely chugging out of the station and always stopping for repairs and maintenance.
Maybe that's why I've bought all of those writing help books. Or those "making ideas happen" creative production books too. I need all of the help I can get.
This time around, though, there's less pressure. This isn't for a deadline. This isn't something I need for a job. This isn't anything that will make or break my career.
This is all for me. For me! To release all of that pent up stress, those ideas, those beautiful words that I know are inside of me. They may be hiding, but I know they're there. They always have been.
My coffee is cold now. The neighbor's dog still yaps incessantly. A trash truck beeps as it crawls down the street. It's a wonder anyone can concentrate with that noise. Without it, though, it wouldn't be now. It wouldn't be MY now. I wouldn't be my present.