She sits at her faded mahogany desk hunched over her laptop, knowing her neck will ache again that night, but she is determined to stay put until the words come. The room is dark, the wood blinds drawn shut against the midday sun, but the computer screen shines bright and the cursor blinks silently on a blank page. Searching for inspiration, her eyes roam the top of the mismatched white desk organizer that spans the length of the desk. At one end sit two button-filled glass jars with a collection of wooden and colorful metal knitting needles. A small oval Paris postcard plate (someday she’ll go she’s promised herself) is layered in front of pictures filled with memories of days well spent. Three dark-haired boys smile back at her from silver frames, each of them dressed in shirt and tie for their Senior high school pictures. Her husband’s smile radiates from the biggest frame. He looks so dapper in his black tuxedo though the bow-tie is crooked. A wedding day photo taken so long ago… yet the smile is the same today. Inspiring quotes are displayed on plaques and there are paperweights painted silver and inscribed with words she never tires of reading… “The journey is the reward” and other such sayings. In the middle sits a rattan catchall box from whose metal latch hangs 2 miniature knitted sweaters. Loads of inspiration – yet the cursor still blinks on a blank page.
She stretches her arms, rolls her shoulders and bends her neck from side to side knowing she could get up and be done with this silly exercise, but stubbornness wills her to stay put. She takes in the old London Tea tin on her desk filled with an assortment of colored sketching pencils. “A quick drawing session might help generate some ideas” she muses. Resisting the pull of procrastination, she sits forward and rests her chin in her palm, while her gaze continues to wander. A Canon EOS camera with its unused strap curled by its side is tethered to the laptop by a USB cord, a reminder that she must upload her latest photos. “Hands on the keyboard”, she commands herself. A lean-to black bookshelf to her left holds magazines of all colors, sizes and titles. They crowd the bottom shelf while a box painted with a French café scene sits serene and alone on the shelf above. One of her favorite works-in-progress hides inside and silently calls out to tempt her. The desire to take a quick break is strong, but once again she resists though this time with a bit less resolve. The lure of a knitting project is almost always too much for her. For diversion, she checks the sterile white sticky notes lining the front of the desk hutch. They hold random clues to what had been done the week before or what household chores need to be attended to in between writing sessions, nothing of value right now.
Swiveling round in her spindle-back chair with its torn green cushion, she spots the tall clear vase holding one lone brilliant purple skein of yarn. It sits in prominence on top of the second bookshelf in the room. This bookshelf is one of those assembly-required ones trying to look more upscale by virtue of some tacked on molding at the top. Two more project boxes, myriads of craft magazines and knitting design books are stuffed within its confines, requiring periodic checks to be sure the whole thing doesn’t collapse under the weight. Her eyes travel back upwards and come to rest on the blue-green glazed clay leaves that hang upon the wall. Her boys, now all grown were so proud of their work she had immediately framed each of their leaves in shadow boxes of white wood with glass fronts. The uniqueness of each is reflected in the leaves. She thinks back to the time of their childhood. A tear forms and slides silently down her cheek. Slowly she twists her chair back to face her laptop, rests her fingers lightly on the keys and starts to type.
I wrote the above post in response to this week’s writing challenge on WordPress. The challenge was to… “Take any person, place, or event, and write three paragraphs describing your subject in great detail.”