When my son was an infant I had an older friend whose four kids were mostly grown. She used to come to the dairy farm where we lived and make sure that my baby and I got out for a drive through the country every now and then. Once the little one was secured into his car seat and I’d done a final double-check on diaper bag ingredients, we’d make a brief pit-stop for a can of Tab for each of us (yes, those days preceded Eating Clean!). And then it was out onto the back roads of southern New Hampshire for the afternoon. The only time I drank Tab was during those expeditions and the repetition soon became a pleasant ritual. That was a long time ago, but even now, when heading out for a long-distance drive somewhere, it is a special beverage for the ride that completes my travel preparations.
The regular writing of my current novel-in-progress demanded its own sort of ritual. Thinking of the five senses, it was sight, sound, smell, touch and taste, that begged for familiar routine when sitting down to delve into my story. For a while I chose the surroundings of a local coffee shop, until they raised the volume on their soundtrack and I could no longer concentrate freely. Certainly the aroma and sound of coffee beans grinding made for a pleasant backdrop, too. And chairs in which I did nothing other than sit and write became familiar friends.
But then they cranked their music up and even played opera one day, and it was time to recreate my writing ritual. For now, I’ve opted to write at home, in the chair you see in the photo above. It’s comfortable. I’m not likely to sit there at any other time and for some reason this makes it “my writing chair”, as if that were important. And for some reason, it is. The stereo stays off and may the laundry, dirty dishes, meals-that-need-preparing, and all other domestic distractions await their turn. I miss the aroma of freshly ground coffee beans but for now, writing from this corner of my home is the new ritual.
Care to share yours?