On my commute home, which took forever because of car accidents everywhere, I snaked my way through the city, heading north to head west. I was afraid that I was going to run out of gas when I was at a standstill on the expressway for 20 minutes. Reason why I scooted around the stopped cars and exited into the center of the city. City driving is difficult in that deep dark of 5 p.m. I had my eyes out for pedestrians and gas stations. Saw more pedestrians-- all wearing dark clothes. It took forever to get home last night. But one of the pluses was listening to NPR and they had a story on about "Narrative Branding," which is a style of branding that creates a lifestyle from selected products. They gave the example of anthropology branding, which is feminine per narrator and a desire for old, vintage designs and colors, from pottery to furniture to dress. Started thinking about this and thought I would give you a description of "Pastoral Branding for Writers":
1. Must desire to be alone most of the time, with exception of animals, both domestic and wild. Must be willing to have a bit of cat hair on everything you own, including the cat sleeping on your freshly printed pages that sit in a carton that looks so cozy. What? not paper-lined for me?
2. Must hope that the people who occupy this space with you are of like mind. Does anyone really know paradise? Maybe you do. You've been playing the song , "You Can Close Your Eyes" over and over.
I think it's the lines, "It won't be long before another day/ we gonna have a good time/ And no one's gonna take that time away/ You can stay as long as you like." Something we said to each other long ago and we're still here.
3. Must understand the purity of dirt. Willing to get you hands in it. Willing to respect the nature of hard work.The mediation that writes itself in the repetitive chores. The quiet that becomes a voice that is clear and certain. This is an art in itself. How to master this.
Over the years, other writers have said to me, so you're really doing it, living out there. I guess so. I'm living out here. Out here where I can get away from the press of the distractions found elsewhere.
Soon, I will have time to settle back here.