Time was a favorite theme in Rachel Field’s writing, so it feels appropriate that working on her book sent me into reflections on time. I spent about four hours today, slogging through endless excavatory expeditions for my endnotes. Meanwhile, a refrain sang through my brain:
“BABYBABYBABYBABYNELLIENELLIENELLIENELLIEBABYNELLIEBABY. Tonight? Tomorrow? When will I meet you, dear newest family member?”
Once I became immersed in revisiting the world of my nine-year research project, those four hours slipped blissfully by. Time slowed down, muting the refrain. "babybabybabybabynellienellienellienelliebabynelliebaby."
The re-immersion into Rachel’s world, the letters, the newspaper articles, her voice rising from the pages again…it animates me, absorbs me; I am lost to time, and time disappears.
Unfortunately, re-immersion also elicits second-guessing, self-doubt. So many cool things, incisive quotations, fascinating facts leap from these thousands of photos, notes, and archives; I should have used this one! I must add that one! Maybe I ought to rewrite – gah! No!!
One preoccupation was replaced by another.
My 60th year in 60,000 words
Day 75: 160 words, TOTAL = 12,484; 47,516 remaining
Robin Clifford Wood is a writer and writing teacher. She lives in central Maine with her husband and dogs, loves to be outdoors, and enjoys ever-expanding horizons through her grown children and their multi-species families.