It’s been a while since I posted any window photos, though I have taken many. This one is in the house where I grew up, looking much the same now as it did then. We used to climb though the windows on the left and right to sun ourselves on the warm tar roof during cold April days. It was a sign of spring. The vantage point from which the photo was taken was where my mother kept her cedar chest, and I imagine it full of wool blankets and linen and lace wrapped in brown paper – to be honest I am not sure if that’s what was really in the chest or I am just channeling all of those Laura Ingalls Wilder books I read on that landing, my body wedged between the radiator and the window. But I do still have lace and linen wrapped in paper from that house, that much is certain, and I wonder now when I will ever have occasion to use them. They’ve been waiting for their moment for so long.
I work out to Steve Martin‘s banjo music. I imagine he would be appalled to know that, but then again maybe it’s a marketing idea. I sort of admire people who can go the gym and work out regularly but I am not one of them. The idea of getting in my car and driving somewhere to exercise just seems wrong, not to mention embarrassing for someone who refuses to wear sweatpants anywhere, ever. If it’s too cold to walk outside, looking out the basement window and listening to The Crow gives my mind something wonderful to do while my body is busy being miserable. It’s perfect. Forget Katy Perry, Michael Jackson and the rest of the thumping-base workout music – it all only reminds me of how young I am not. But banjo music brings out the young in everyone. It is inherently happy, endlessly sunny and an invitation to love life. The winter melts to spring, the rural roads stretch before me, and when I am finished I can go and write.
Speaking of which, a while back my daughter and I went to hear Steve Martin himself talk about his life and play a little banjo. At the end of the interview by insipid entertainment reporter Joyce Kulhawik (I am loathe to even give her a link), Mr. Martin took questions. One person whined to him about writer’s block and asked him how he kept himself creative and he was blissfully bemused. In effect, he told her that, having worked so hard to get to this point in his life that he can now pursue his ideas whenever the mood strikes him. No pep talks, no tricks of the trade, just a very candid glimpse of someone who has earned the right to do nothing and thus pursues everything. Think about it – writer, comedian, actor, director, playwright, poet, collector, musician. Even if you did have writer’s block how could you think someone like Steve Martin could provide you with any more wisdom than he already has?