The snow is coming down again in wet heavy flakes. I wonder if school is closed. A schoolboy is in front of the co-op kicking up snow. Yesterday we got a few inches. The tall pines and spruces are heavy with white. It’s a Christmas card Vermont today. I’m meeting a writer friend at the co-op today. The co-op is the reason I am here. It’s what makes Adamant more than just a bunch of roads with houses on them. The co-op is the place where people come together. It’s the place where, when I was staying here this summer, they took me in just as I was. I didn’t have to do anything or be anything fancy. And they didn’t just ask a few questions then ignore me, they leaned into me and wanted to know how I ticked, what I was into, and told me how glad they were to see me. These were interesting people, people who were doing things, like raising pigs, playing the sitar or didgeridoo (or any number of musical instruments), making letter openers (one of my favorite finds at the fair), taking photos, building their own heating systems, making pottery and scarves and whimsical little nature beings (my gal is still right here, blue hair flowing), sculpting, baking, cooking, talking. They plan things like the chocolate black tie shindig this Friday night. There’s a friend with Netflix up the road where we can snuggle with snacks and watch anything. Someone invited me to be in a band last night. I’ve got deviled eggs and cookies on the roster for a memorial service on Saturday, and I’m wondering if my landlord, an Olympic athlete with a full leg cast from a fall last week, likes Backgammon or plays cards. There have been no manicures, waxings, $60 haircuts, or new shoes. Most of my clothes are still unpacked and I haven’t noticed. No one else seems to have, either. My disposable contact lens supply has lasted much longer than originally planned.
About to settle into the writing today. Funny I was waxing poetic about the co-op because my writing thoughts are about community, too. I arose thinking that if you struggle with shape, use a form to guide you. It’s okay. There’s no shame in not knowing, no need to hide the fact. I have often felt that I was supposed to know what I was doing at all times when writing, and that using models was a cop out. Thing is, I’m not supposed to know and that’s okay. This reminds me of a recent talk by Margot Livesey on literary influences in which she said, “I had failed to be influenced by many years of ardent reading.” We don’t have to do it alone. Lots came before us. And we can make use of it! It’s okay to be influenced. To imitate. To mirror. To take in. To be done unto. To surrender to make the words live and breathe on the page. I used to worry that if I imitated, I’d failed to understand something. But really, it’s a way of understanding, of being with the work and learning from it. Imitation is a kind of meditation. I can then grapple with how little I know, how small I am, just one writer in the scheme of things. But it’s my writing. Yay! All I have to do it get in close with others and let them in, then be myself. Like in Adamant.