I am taking an online writing course. It’s challenging. It’s really hard work but the course is beautifully constructed. It’s really hard work but it feels very safe. It’s a stretch. Stretching is good. I like and admire the other three women, all young, in my cohort, and our instructor, also young. I have trouble with the technology, no surprise. I post the wrong things in the wrong places and in the wrong format. Documents won’t open for me but Saint Ryan, the tech support guy, is kind and patient and never makes me feel more of an ancient idiot than I already do. And no one mocks, or barks, or criticizes or even makes suggestions, other than about my writing, which is the whole purpose of the course which is writing and critiquing short fiction.
And here is the cool thing about having Parkinson’s. Whenever the urge to pitch the laptop off the balcony takes hold, I always get to go to the “this is all so good for my brain!” place. New ways of thinking and doing are good for everyone’s brain but the Parkie brain, in particular, needs the exercise. It is operating on an ever-diminishing number of neurons. Just like my body, I feel it stiffening, wobbling, slowing down. Walking and yoga and dancing in my kitchen keep my body moving but the NYT crossword and the Scrabble app on my phone might not be enough for my beleaguered brain cells.
Besides, the laptop would land pillowed in the six feet of accumulated snow that still sits on the lawn below my balcony while more snow falls as I type and it’s March 10 and winter needs to take itself off to whatever hellhole it inhabits and plot its revenge for all of our maligning of its gifts… and just now, as I look out my window on a world made indescribably beautiful… soft, she says, trying to describe, anyway… tranquil, fog-filtered, shades of grey and white, all the grime and hard edges vanished, a brief other-world, still and silent, just resting in the perfection of an early morning, before the ploughs and the shovels and the cursing.
Perhaps we are the storm.
Winter, I apologize.
…except for this note: I woke way too early with an idea to write about a rejection letter that I recently received that I do truly love. It made me laugh out loud. But really, I just want to make coffee and look out the window and because I can, I shall.