"Most of the evils of life come from man's being unable to sit still in a room."
I have a beautiful office in our new home. It's big. With a trio of windows look out at the brownstone tops across the streets. There is a vast wall of cheery yellow wallpaper with bright blue birds. I am lucky to have this space. I know this.
But still. I choose - day in, day out - to write at Starbucks. Even though it is hard to find a table, let alone one with an outlet, there. Even though I am pregnant and I pee eighty times an hour and public bathrooms aren't my favorite. Even though there's a whole lot of noise - beans a-grinding, people-a-gabbing, kids-a-crying. Even though.
What is this all about? I'm not sure. I tell myself that I need the chaos, the real-time churn of material, to get my writerly juices flowing. I tell myself that I need the noise, the staccato of strangers, the symphony of the city, to settle in. I tell myself that I have always been this way, that in school I always studied better amid the coffee house hubbub than I did in the quiet of a library.
I tell myself many things.
But I wonder if it's more than this. Why is it so hard for me to sit still in a room - alone? What am I afraid of? The quiet? The solitude? The truth that might come if I let it?
Are you able to sit still in a room? Or are you inclined to run around and seek chaos? Do you need distractions to focus?