Every so often I need to do a deep dive – lose myself in something. This weekend it was books and knitting. One of the great features of an ebook reader is that you can read it while doing something else – unlike a book, where you have to hold the pages open. So I can immerse myself in a book AND get a lot of knitting done. These past few days I have spent quite possibly the most pleasurable moments in recent memory doing nothing more complex than sinking into Hogwarts and making a cashmere bolero.
I’m old enough to know that this is not wasted time, that my mind is operating on multiple levels. As I’m easing into the simplicity of a story – or easing into the delicious feeling of cashmere on my fingers for hours at a time…or both – my subconscious is percolating. Those thoughts will coalesce as I resurface…meanwhile, there is crankiness. I want to be back in that soft womb. My mother – who has gone on many a retreat in her life – calls this process “re-entry”. Everything seems bigger, louder, more nerve-jangling. This morning Bernardo clattered some empty bottles and when I was done jumping out of my skin, I got bristly and agitated. It took 45 minutes to settle down again.
Fortunately Bernardo has a thick skin. And fortunately, crankiness makes for good writing.