I have been neglecting to add anything new to this blog for a long time, because I have been giving my free time and attention to a big project: another book.
When people interested in my writing ask when I will next have a new book to share, I have been telling them, “Sometime in 2016.” Back in February, the vagueness of that answer seemed to give me a wide and comfortable margin. Now that it’s October, I see I am not going to fulfill such narrow timing.
The onset of cool evenings provides a welcome break from the relentlessness of the possibilities of warm and sunny days. I can now see that some of my aims for improvements around the yard and house, for example, will remain unfulfilled for a while longer. I can see that many of my hopes for sharing bright days with my tender family were realized (thank You), but that we have now segregated ourselves back again into the separate rhythms of work and school. Whatever the summer was this year, it is now done. Whatever to-do lists I had for this summer, they are at an end. Autumn is a wonderful time to surrender—so wonderful that I question how people in parts of the world without seasons manage to deal with their overreaching ambition. The arrival of cool evenings is a reminder of the presence of grace.
This book I have been working on is sitting here beside me on my desk, in the form of a thick unbound stack of pages. I had hoped it might be finished. It is not. Parts of it are tinny and parts are incomplete. The subject matter it deals with is sufficiently difficult that perhaps the book has not yet faced that subject as well as it might. I still have work to do.
And meanwhile, it has become important to me to recognize I still have this work to do and make peace with it. I don’t want the work of this book to be relentless anymore. Among other things, I would like to return to this blog and leave time for at least occasionally posting here.
In my next post, I think I would like to explore why a struggle like the one I am describing—wrestling with a book in my case, wrestling with different artistic burdens in others' cases—is worth taking on.