Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The blank page

Last week a question gave me cause to look up something Jenny Diski once wrote that I think of all the time:
Being really alone means being free from anticipation. Even to know that something is going to happen, that I am required to do something is an intrusion on the emptiness I am after. What I love to see is an empty diary, pages and pages of nothing planned. A date, an arrangement, is a point in the future when something is required of me. I begin to worry about it days, sometimes weeks ahead. Just a haircut, a hospital visit, a dinner party. Going out. The weight of the thing-that-is-going-to-happen sits on my heart and crushes the present into non-existence. My ability to live in the here and now depends on not having any plans, on there being no expected interruption. I have no other way to do it. How can you be alone, properly alone, if you know someone is going to knock at the door in five hours, or tomorrow morning, or you have to get ready and go out in three days' time? I can't abide the fracturing of the present by the intrusion of a planned future.
On which note, here is something I really appreciate about my life in Cayman....

It's not really quite true, I do have some things mentally written in: I'll do the Stroke and Stride races these three upcoming Wednesday evenings (5:45 at Sunset House), I go to 6am spin class on Tuesday and Thursday and have various other long runs and rides and yoga classes penciled in metaphorically. One tenure letter down, three to go. A conference call Thursday morning at 10am EDT. But it is still very very pleasantly blank compared to my "real" life in New York! And tomorrow morning I am going to go to Cafe del Sol and start writing TTWC!
(Unrelated other page of quotations from two books I loved and was thinking about earlier today!)


  1. I used to live in Costa Rica and that's what my date book looked like. I miss it sometimes. A lot of times...

  2. I know it wouldn't suit me to live like this all the time, but it is very nice for an interlude....

  3. gina in alabama8/07/2014 3:04 PM

    The Ten Week Clarissa!!!! yes!!!!!