I see a dark wood ahead. There’s a meadow at the edge, which I cross, purposeful, optimistic. I come to the edge of the wood.  Stop. Look for a path. Step into the wood. Push through the brambles. Stride bravely. Falter. It’s deeper and darker than I thought it would be. The sky clouds over. It begins to rain.  I shiver. Retrace my steps.  Feeling lonely now. Wish I’d had a better breakfast. Thinking about coffee. Toast.

In a tree, two Jays: good omen. A magpie: bad omen.

I lie down for a minute, thinking I would like to sleep in the wood for hundreds of years, like Rip Van Winkle. I think of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, seduced and sedated by poppies…Captain Oates, who went to sleep in a snowdrift.

I trudge on. Another wrong path, lost and lost and dark and discouraged and why did I ever think this was a good idea, and where is everyone, and my feet hurt and now I want to cry. Trudge trudge trudge. I’m hungry. Bored with my own company. Cranky. Depressed.

Days, weeks, months.

And then a wide smooth road, almost paved, overhung with trees, if I push carefully through the underbrush I can get to it.  And then an hour of peaceful straight walking. It smells of pine. I know where I’m going. Just for now.


15 thoughts on “Here’s How I Write

  1. KMLockwood 8 years ago

    I go diving in a deep dark sea.
    Thanks for this – I can feel a new post coming on.

  2. Cathy cassidy 8 years ago

    going to keep this as a cutting on my desktop for those lost-in-the-woods moments. (Or do I mean months.) Thanks lovely Meg… brilliant.

  3. Candy Gourlay 8 years ago

    Wow. That’s a fantastic post. I seem to get stuck somewhere around the hungry mark al the time. Writing is fattening.

    1. Meg 8 years ago

      Yup. And sleep-inducing too.

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  5. bookwitch 8 years ago

    I don’t much like poetry, but that was quite good, Meg. But try another piece of toast, just in case.

  6. jackie morris 8 years ago

    You are a star. I would love to see some of your lost in teh woods words, but also love the paved road wonders that you take us on. So thank you.
    I might just have to re read The Bride’s Farewell.
    When I write I do literaly go for a walk, find a warm, sheltered high place and write to the sound of the wind and the birds.

  7. Michelle 8 years ago

    Thank you for this.

  8. Shelley SOUZA 8 years ago

    Perfect. Thank you. Keen for Writing 103. Maybe next year.

  9. kokorako 8 years ago

    Your words took me on a superb photo shoot. And then it hit, right between the Bambi eyes: I do wish my own wood/s didn’t have so many external distractions – metaphorical logging paths, people (aka my kids) needing rescuing, mangoes/damsons to be pickled (or whatever it is one does in kitchens). I don’t believe I’m ready to let myself get to that meadow of yours, and if I did make it who knows what small thing (eg, let’s set up a community orchard here! now!) would take an eco bunny like me off the path? Defintiely need to think about why I’m using busy-ness as an avoidance tactic for writing what I want. Clearly the moment for a dog walk of shameful soul searching. But as old habits persist, here’s another distraction for everyone’s tough journey: Vogue is starrily beautiful this month.

    1. Meg 8 years ago

      ARGH! Vogue! And Christmas, don’t forget Christmas, the world’s biggest, deepest black hole of busyness….
      Dog walk and TBC, welcome, anytime.

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