Saturday, March 19, 2011

Practice, practice, practice

"What you write need not be perfect. It need only add some small observation about your world." Atul Gawande

For a long time I ran this quote as part of my email signature because I believe it. I do, though, have trouble not striving for perfection. When I relax into my journal, sometimes I can put a few words together that please me, even without their being perfect. Here's yesterday's journal entry.

In a world full of news about disasters in which people lose all their possessions, I'm fortunate to have mine. For instance, I'm writing in my favorite chair. This chair is well padded, like me. It's deep enough to cradle me if I put a small pillow at my back. The arms are partly padded, partly scrolled wood, painted with a crackle finish. The upholstery fabric is a large floral pattern in sage, beige and wine. The throw pillows are wine with beaded edges. I take my chair for granted. It's always right where I left it, between the floor lamp to my left and the end table to my right. The chair is too heavy to move easily, as I am reminded whenever Duncan the Dog rolls his ball under it and I have to get down on cranky knees to help him retrieve his toy.

The chair cost very little in the consignment shop where I found it. The cushions are detached, so I can turn them and make them wear evenly. In short, this chair suits me. I hope it lasts as long as I do. It's like Robert Frost's definition of home: when I sit there, it has to hold me. The chair is not a critic of me or my work, offers not a creak or a groan. It marks my place in the world. Who owns this chair, owns her life.

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