The Blue Chair Blog

It's not just about the novel


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What’s up with that blue chair?

“Reading, writing, and thinking aloud from the house with the blue chair in front. Sometimes I sit in the chair.”

wisteriaIt’s early spring here in the Pacific Northwest and the weather is . . . changeable. Yesterday, which was Easter Sunday, I put the blue chair back in its accustomed place underneath wisteria blossoms that have yet to unfurl.

I write in earnest now. I think of myself as a writer. A part of me wishes so much that I had headed down this road sooner, my earthly goods tied in a bandana and suspended from the end of a stick. I would have set off whistling (except I can’t whistle) and never looked back. The novel that’s been in my head for all these years — I’d have leaned into it and at least had a manuscript by now.  I’d have been engaged in a writing practice that was meaningful and fulfilling, writing essays at least to myself. Perhaps I would have tackled memoir. I would certainly have had more time to read — classics, junk, the latest, whatever I wanted. Instead, I have most of a first draft, written over a ridiculous amount of time. But I do have that and I’m working consistently to move forward with it, too.

I’m taking myself as I am. I am sitting in the blue chair in my tiny front yard. I’m there almost every day if the weather allows, just as I was last summer. It’s comfortable, it’s symbolic, and I love the view along my curved sidewalk and over the bronzy-red Japanese maple to the tall hemlock spruce trees beyond. It’s a sheltered spot. I can daydream there, and I do, looking up at the clouds, and the tree tops, and the blue sky. Eventually, I will turn to the book I’m reading, or to my notebook, grateful to have this spot that grounds me. This year, when fall comes and the days are shorter, cold and damp, I will miss my spring and summer days in the blue chair, but what it gives me, a specific place in which to read, write and think, will linger on.