Today I left the house before breakfast, investigating the immediate geography. You can walk from woodland to woodland without touching a road in this area, someone told me. I tried but was put off by swamps and fences. I walked home in the bright air, along the road, against the wind.
It is the afternoon. I am seated at my desk. I am watching the light. I am trying to understand why I must write. Whenever I am still, it is the first thing that I want to do.
Strong clean wind is sweeping through the house, through the windows and doors that I opened after my walk. Now I can hear crows calling across the yard, squirrels rattling the power-lines, branches tossing, and the neighbor’s wind chimes ringing. The chimes are clearest when I stand by the bathroom window. The wind moves the white shower curtain, it lifts my hair, and it carries the notes of the chimes down the hill and underground to where I live.
I write to anchor myself here, where I am content and attuned to the light and the wind. This stillness is the threshold of creation. I will wander away from it, so I write directions for my return.
I write to secure what is free and ephemeral; to preserve the light moving across the yard, which will fade at the end of day; to remember the notes of my neighbor’s wind chimes long in the future when we have moved away.
I write to keep myself from moving, because I know that if I stay still long enough I can create something good with words. I write so that I can write better, because that is what I have always wanted to do.