The blank page

by tamarjacobson

 
Photo 10

It feels as if I am living in a strange land this summer. My usual routines have still to be developed. I cannot get over what a creature of habit I had become in the old apartment. And now, everything has changed. All turned around and upside down. Focus, focus, focus. Or just let it flow into what it needs to become? Mostly I take my cues from little Ada. For example, she taught me to use the steep little staircase that winds its way down to the kitchen from the second floor. She and I bound up and down that one. It cuts off half the number of steps we need from the larger staircase, which goes between the foyer and upstairs. We choose the back steps to pick up a short nibble, cup of coffee, or return to the kitchen for odds and ends I might have forgotten on my way upstairs. Ada follows me around, her paws pitter-pattering on the hard wood floors. Sometimes she climbs up to the third floor, where recently I created a yoga room. She sits on the landing and calls out with short, sharp meows that become mini yowls if I do not respond immediately. She sighs in satisfaction, and rolls around with coy glances and very slight wags of her bushy tail when I make my way up to her. As I perform my yoga asanas or sit in breathing meditation to the sounds of cars roaring past outside the window, Ada lies quietly nearby. I think at some level she and I miss the large old oak tree that used to stand so tall and strong outside the living room window in the old apartment. And we both still need to find that one spot we can call our own, as we did in my tiny little study back there … back when?

 
Photo 9

And yet, mostly I do not look back. The house is fun and beautiful to be
within. This summer, slowly but surely, bit by bit, I will develop new
habits and routines. There is something about the structure and form of
this home that invites me to become more creative. Something about this
time in my life that urges me to expand my sense of who I am, discover
my power, or what I deserve. It feels daunting to sit before a blank page. The urge to write comes
and goes and slips away again. But I realize as I write this short piece, that more than anything, writing is what grounds and empowers me – indeed, even saves me.