There is a woodpecker rat-tatting on the south wall of my house. The sound reminds me of other autumns, other late mornings when October’s leaves fill my driveway full of yellow, orange and rust. My writing space has been winterized. I am now in the loft just above the wood stove. For the next four to six months this is where you can find me most often; under the window over The Elm.
Today the dog is outside, oblivious to the knocking of our feathered friend. If I knew Morse Code I am sure that bird is tapping a message; something profound.
Something to do with the shift of my writing space, which has also created an alteration of purpose, because with so many months devoted to book promotion I feel that my writer’s compass is off. There is a strong pull to let go and let what I’ve done find its way and give myself permission to do this without penalties attached.
I keep a calendar on my kitchen counter. Every day there is a painting or print from museums around the world. Today there is a black and white print of The Large Cat by Cornelis Visscher (1629-1662). This feline is over three hundred years old, drawn by a man who died at thirty-three. I wondered what he would think if he knew I had my morning cup-of-tea looking at his large cat. I wondered too just what becomes of all we do and all we have created, centuries from now. Perhaps my tapping woodpecker had the answer or maybe Mark Twain did when he said: “If you would have your work last forever, and by forever I mean fifty years, it must neither overtly preach nor overtly teach, but it must covertly preach and covertly teach.”
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