Saturday, July 03, 2010

Public Writing

I'm a link in the summer stage car pool these days, my usual shift is the 4:30 pickup. One of my passengers is a tall, bohemian 17 yr-old who tells me he writes — once a week for an hour at the local coffee shop.

Crash tells me that's where you go to be seen to write. Am I a real writer if I prefer the solitude of my study? It's not clear my passenger thinks so. Crash and the Boy offered to bring up cups of cocoa and sit in the comfy chair in my office and watch me write, if that's what I need!

I'm with Kafka on this one: "You said once that you would like to sit beside me while I write. Listen, in that case I could not write at all. For writing means revealing oneself to excess...that is why one can never be alone enough when one writes, why there can never be enough silence around one when one writes."

I spent two hours on line at PennDOT today with the (dashed) hope of getting Crash a permit to drive. Twice as much time, and as big a crush as the coffee shop, and no way could I write. Particularly the piece that is percolating — on facing the night and the darkness. My hat's off to my teen passenger - writing briefly in the noisy square.

Photo by practicalowl via flickr.


  1. got to love their offer to sit and watch ;')

  2. I wonder if it is an age thing. Teens are much less used to solitude than we are. They function with a lot more noise, visual clutter, and people around. It will be interesting to see if this affects the quality of their work--time will tell!

  3. I find the hustle and bustle of a coffee shop can be anonymous enough to write small... lists, characteristics, ideas, phrases, etc...

    I find even one family member within eye or earshot and I cannot write more than a meek "hope you're feeling better soon, love, Cindy" on the bottom of a card.

    My husband's treadmill is beginning to take up so much space in my studio that I am having a hard time writing or painting during the 23.25 hours he is NOT on it!

    God bless a teenager who sees himself as a writer .... he beat me by about 40 years!