Self-Care Diary: Wednesday, 11/20/2013

Retro 5This is Day Three of my experimental series, Self-Care Diary. For seven days, I’m sharing the things I’m doing to maintain my health and well-being. Then, at the end of the week, I’ll offer some observations on how things went.

Wednesday, 11/20/2013

Breakfast: The usual brown rice with soy milk and spices; 3 c coffee.

Singing: 15 minutes of chanted prayer in the tub; 30 minutes of my driving-around song in the car.

Meditation: 20 minutes of meditation on the breath while sitting on the sofa.

Lunch: Small roasted chicken leg and thigh, large Fuji apple.

Exercise: 30 minutes of brisk walking around the high school track.

Companion-animal love: Much interaction, both silly and serious, with my cat, Ginsberg.

Dinner: 5-cup Big Bright Salad with same ingredients as yesterday except red onion instead of green onions, no walnuts, and the addition of black olives and fresh mushroom chunks.

Reading: Gorgeous Muriel Rukeyser poem, Elegy in Joy, as well as writer Michael Ventura’s essay on the poem from his column, Letters at 3AM. I also read Ventura’s advice to people who want to be writers, The Talent of the Room. Here’s a quote:

Writing is something you do alone in a room. Copy that sentence and put it on your wall because there’s no way to exaggerate or overemphasize this fact. It’s the most important thing to remember if you want to be a writer. Writing is something you do alone in a room.

Before any issues of style, content, or form can be addressed, the fundamental questions are: How long can you stay in that room? How many hours a day? How do you behave in that room? How often can you go back to it? How much fear (and, for that matter, how much elation) can you endure by yourself? How many years — how many years — can you remain alone in a room?

Michael Ventura


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