After a brief respite from real life, my creative well has been refilled. I have been wandering around San Francisco and also enjoying a mini-writing retreat. Focusing on the interesting sights and on the slowly growing novel world has been a wonderful juxtaposition of external and internal experiences.
Sometimes regular days at home blur together, each one disappearing in the service of fixing things for a little person. She loses her favorite tiny toy, or needs a snack, or wants to play a particular game. I love all these rituals as much as she does, or more, knowing she won’t need me in these exact ways for very long. And yet it has been wonderful to step outside that world and find myself on the sidewalk of a city I visited last in 2001.
Along with memories, and photos, and a huge chunk of first-draft meandering that’s at least going in the proper direction (west, toward America), I’m bringing home a few souvenirs. They’re objects, yes, but they make me ridiculously happy. And I hope they will help me reconnect with this special thread of time when I’m trying to squeeze a writing session into a meager half-hour.
I love my new vintage dress from Nana’s Treasures in Sausalito and the matching silk slippers from Chinatown. In fact, I love the dress so much I’m already trying to fabricate an event that’ll let me wear it—although it’s not exactly a rain-proof ensemble so I may have to wait until summer.
Then there’s fabulous yarn from Artfibers, a San Francisco based yarnmaking company with a dazzling array of choices and swatches in their lovely third-floor showroom. I took home one 450-yard cone of tantra, and another 450-yard cone of Hana. Both silk, both destined to turn into shawls.
My fantastic Goorin Bros. sunhat will be perfect for hot-weather playground sessions. And I project myself there, now, into a blue-sky summer, my little girl’s hand in mine, both of us wearing sunglasses, hers adorned with ladybugs, perhaps a scrape or two already on her knees, and what could be more beautiful than a small, sacred moment with my daughter?