The Activity Around our Table

I barely made it in time for my Conscious Booksmith Live Chat today. I love waking up gradually, drifting in and out of sleep before crawling out of bed. Depending on how feisty Tilda is feeling, I am usually up and about between 6:30 and 7:30, but this morning, when I rolled over and took a peek at the clock, I saw 8:01 and promptly leapt out of bed and raced to my laptop, just in time for our 8:00am discussion. Yesterday I took everyone to Cloud10 Jump Club, a ginormous trampoline gym in town, for an hour of bouncing, and even though I go to this gym every week for an hour-long workout, I still wore myself out enough to sleep in later than I have in months. It was a different kind of jumping yesterday - more of the bounce-as-high-as-I-possibly-can type, do a bunch of split jumps and, hey, why not try a few of my old gymnastics moves while I’m at it? (How I didn’t pull a muscle or otherwise severely injure myself is a mystery.) I am sore today in different places than I am after my usual workouts, and it is a good kind of sore, the kind that tells me I MOVED.

My nephew is currently sitting right next to me focused intently on a videogame with giant animated bugs and a squat, muscle-bound figure with a bowl haircut and a star on his t-shirt. As someone who cherishes silence so much, it is a funny thing to feel myself more drawn to the activity of our kitchen table for focused writing than the relative solitude (relative in a house full of out-of-town guests) of my studio. It has been that way ever since I started working on my book in earnest. As much as the interruptions can annoy me at times, I actually find the hum and flow of this space in our house more fitting for the book I am writing. The book holds stories that unfolded at this very table, within these very walls. I also love the strange challenge of being able to zone out all the movement and noise around me as I write. I see it as a way to not only practice my writing, but improve my skills at being able to write pretty much anywhere. I don’t want there to be any excuses, I don’t want to invite reasons to not write.

Tilda is getting antsy - the time for her morning walk has come and gone - so she’s doing her usual attention-grab by picking up her big red rubber bone and dropping it on our hardwood floors with a solid THUD. That’s just one of the tricks in her repertoire, and the one that makes me laugh the most. She has learned how to get my attention, knows that laughter is a sign she’ll get what she wants. How wonderful that this is how we communicate - through laughter, through smiles, through joy.

Christine Mason Miller

Santa Barbara, CA

Writer * Artist * Storyteller * Guide