I try not to say, “I am busy,” but occasionally say it unconsciously.
When I prepare for work in the morning, I excuse myself from taking care of flowers or other things because I feel that I am busy. My poor, small garden, its flowers will be thirsty as hell until I come back home from work in the evening.
Putting water in flower pots takes about three minutes. If I am observing my favorite purple flowers and they somewhat inspire me, I do not have ten minutes to write a note. Although, I may need these minutes if I have a morning meeting, and I must leave before 6:45am. Then I ask if I prefer to be late for the morning meeting or enjoy three more minutes with my flowers. And I always choose not to be late for the meeting. I am not a workaholic, but I have a certain seriousness for work in me.
Then some people say, “Naoko, you are a poet. You need time for flowers; perhaps artistic time.” It is true. A poet, Franz Wright, commented that writing must be the first thing in one’s life. And it is true. But I am not going to ignore how to pay monthly rent and other expenses if I want a home to write in.
Haruki Murakami thinks that writing is like descending into a deep well. Pablo Picasso thought that creativity is like remembering a memory from a long time ago. Either way, they had quiet time alone to travel through their deep consciousness.
Am I too busy to span a ladder over a dark hole?
Or am I actually doing well in balancing my work and writing? At least I believe it that way— that writing stories in my car or during lunch at the office has the promise to go somewhere.