On a bus from Washington to New York, it occurs to me how wonderful this travel thing is for someone who likes to write. What a gift it is to have this block of uninterrupted, precious time. You are enveloped in a soft protected cocoon of time – you step on a bus or a train at 7 o’clock on a chilly morning, inevitable coffee cup in hand, and you have a 4-hour long eternity to do with as you please.
You are a joyful prisoner in this 4-hour long jail; there is nowhere for you to go, no way to escape the comfortably chilly confines of your transport – and you can write, feeding on your involuntarily inability to do many of the things that you do in real life, the things that are perfectly necessary but that crowd out writing from your day and mind. Yet right now, on this blessed bus, a glorious nothingness stands between writing and you.
Another gift is the changing imagery behind a dusty window. You are moving from a field of a blindingly yellow wild flowers to a bridge supported by arches that look like clumsy, disproportionately tall teenagers to a corner of a city old, industrial, dark and dilapidated – but crowned by a string of clouds in a hue of gold so deep that you squint in disbelief for a good couple of minutes before the entire juxtaposition is gone and you take a humble attempt at capturing it with words.
Oh, the indulgence of following the tiniest whims of your mind and imagination, of hearing and trusting that whisper of a voice that tells you that it is somehow important to wrestle with trying to describe this September sunrise over Baltimore…
So many gifts are offered to you on this humble bus – and all you have to do is to look up and accept them.
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