A blogalectic with Masha and Mr. Pond.
Last week, Masha talked about her spaces-set-apart, and as it turns out, we share a love for making home sacred. As for Mr. Pond, he was apparently too busy publishing a tale called Bradie Law and the Grumpenmire to post; since I got a fair bit of amusement out of Bradie Law, I'll let that slide. On with the blogalectic, and the next concept involved in sacred time: rite.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: if spontaneity is the spice of life, routine and ritual are the meat and potatoes. Some people like more spice than others, of course, and whether we're talking about spontaneity or food, I tend to have the tastes of a nervous old Englishwoman. I prefer things a bit bland, thanks very much.
Reading other writers' rituals always interests me, though my own may not prove interesting. Inspiration can certainly hit anytime (and has a penchant for choosing the most inopportune times), but for the daily grind, I treat writing like work. That is, I get up with my hardworking husband, breakfast with him, pray Lauds, shower, dress, and get makeup and hair done. Then I check my email and Facebook to get rid of the immediate possible distractions, open up Blogger or Scrivener or Word, and set to.
Granted, this doesn't always turn into great productivity. But I generally work better when I feel neat and organized and together and—well, pretty.
It doesn't feel properly authorial, though. Surely I ought to be incapable of creative thought without a cigar handy, or some very specific type of tea. Or some elaborate process involving taking twelve steps toward the west, turning a cartwheel, drinking half a bottle of merlot and possibly tying my feet to the desk. None of it does much for me. I need quiet, a neat house, comfortable but not sloppy clothes, my hair out of my face, and plenty of eye shadow. And my little Dell.
It makes for a simple routine, if a time-consuming one—good eye shadow is itself a work of art—but it orders my days.
And if it's un-authorial to jump up at twelve o'clock sharp and say the Angelus, mid-sentence if necessary, well—I'll just say that such rituals are part of making time sacred.