I've got quite a few books on my bedside table. I'm making scattered attempts at reading: Capote's In Cold Blood, Sudye Cauthen's Southern Comfort, James Olney's Memory & Narrative, Emma Goldman's Anarchy & Other Essays, His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Science of Being and Art of Living, and Eckhart Tolle's The New Earth. One would think I'd concentrate on planning my summer class (Introduction to Creative Writing) but there's always time for that the day before the class begins. Well, I've taught it so many times.
Here's my latest thought about rearranging my memoir manuscript: it opens in Sopchoppy, Florida where I'm sitting by a fire I've built after a day of pulling weeds. Some friends are over and they're visiting me at my new place where I'm living in a tent behind my boyfriend's cabin. We get to talking and my mind wanders...back to my life in Pahokee, then to my life in New York, but always back to the present where I'm thinking about books, politics, communities, culture, art, etc and I'm living so sparingly: taking baths by candlelight from water in a bucket, walking to the outhouse to use the bathroom, squatting to take a pee, growing a garden, fighting weeds, nurturing a pond, learning home remedies, eating wild blackberries, and taking my dog for a long walk every night. I'm also writing this book in my tent. So I'm thinking about my life and how I got here. My 13 year old daughter sleeps beside me in the tent, and I'm struck with how my ideals are screwing up her life.