* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Think of this distance we travel between home and work, between family and art, between our everyday responsibilities and the life of the imagination as our own version of a rush-hour commute. We’re not standing on a platform, boarding a train, shouldering our way through crowds on our way from home to office – a ritual that creates its own buffer zone between the two traversed worlds – but we are still making a journey. It’s a solitary trek, and to a casual observer it might not seem like we’re going anywhere at all. We might, for instance, be sitting in the same exact spot. We might be wearing the same clothes we slept in, or maybe we’ve actually showered and put on a semblance of normal attire. But no matter. We are commuting inward. And on Monday mornings – or after a long holiday, a summer vacation, any time we have been away from the page – we have to be even more vigilant about that commute. We are traveling to that place inside ourselves – so small as to be invisible – where we are free to roam and play. So let the electric company wait. Let the mail pile up. Turn off the phone’s ringer. The voices around us grow quiet and still. We travel as surely as we’re in our cars, listening to NPR, our mug of coffee in its trusty cup holder. We know that once we enter the place from which we write, it will expand to make room for us. It will be wider than the world.
Dani Shapiro in Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life
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