I left my project for two days to help clean out my childhood home in the wake of my father's death. I thought my writing project would be okay for just a few days unsupervised. My reason for leaving was justified. The project would be kind and forgiving when I returned, I imagined.
Now, back in front of my computer, the project seems to have - not quite gone ferrel as Joan Didion warned-- but instead, it kind of sealed up.
The project felt like a small house that, in my absence, had closed its windows and doors and I feel uncertain as to how to get back inside.
I think projects can do this...they can kind of close up in our absence. To get back in, sometimes you cannot just push the door open.
Today, it feels better to knock and wait patiently on the stoop to see if the project responds. Not everyday is the day to charge in. I am now, for the moment, a guest to my own project. By the end of the day, we likely will have found our rhythm again. I will feel at home. But next time, I'll remember to leave some kind of key under the mat to help myself get back in after I take some time away.
Sarah Federman, PhD