I also had this giant crushing papier-mache boulder hanging over my head by a very thin thread: the poem I promised to write for convocation, which is this coming Tuesday.
Have I known I need to write the poem all summer. Well, yes. Most of the summer, anyway. And did I start writing the poem back when I first heard about it? Kind of. Did I work on the poem on the flight back from Scotland? Sure I did.
And nonetheless, was I attempting the come-to-Jesus writing of the poem during the epicenter of the jet lag?
YES, okay? YES.
Anyway, I told my Scotland daughter about the crushing papier mache burden of poem I was fending off. From crushing me. This was after the davening and the head holding had already happened, but before the insult of the spicy curry and the head full of bees feeling. Here was our conversation:
What a sensible daughter! First of all, the suggestion to write a haiku, which: why didn't I *think* about/do that? And then the suggestion to find a poem I already had written! Why didn't I think about/do THAT?
Well, in fact, I did neither of these things. What I did was eat and whine about the curry, then come home and work on the poem.
At precisely nine o'clock, I took stock of the poem. It had two quatrains and many many many many single lines, aka 'notes.' I said (not aloud) SCREW THIS, walked into the bedroom and got under my faux fur blanket. And fell asleep until 10:45 p.m.
The historian took one look at me and said, 'Maybe I'll just take Bruiser for his walk and you can stay here.' I'm pretty sure I thanked him before I fell asleep again until seven a.m.
I woke up, looked at the clock, gave it a kiss (in my mind), and was practically whistling when I walked back to my laptop and wrote that poem like a boss. The End. Sleep is the answer to everything.