Monday, October 4, 2010

Summing it up

If I had to choose one picture to sum up my month off, it would be this one. Here it is, I'm choosing it. Though no one's forcing me to.

This is Olive. If you've been to our house, you've probably never seen her. She loves Patrick and myself with all the fierceness of her little striped heart. And she loves Pete. But that's it. All other beings--humans, cats, and dogs included-- are terrorists. She dives under the bathtub and casts fearful gold-eyed glares at the milieu of would-be attackers.

We had a good month, Olive and I. I would "arrive" at my spare-bedroom "office" at around 9 or so each morning, with a cup of tea, ready to write. I would open the door and let an unbelievably sweet striped cat share the space with me, for the day. The room faces west; late afternoons were Olive's favorite. She's a bona fide feline solar panel, that cat.

She helped me write. For the first time since college, I had a deadline, and I was sweating ever-so-slightly. (Details of just what, exactly, I was sweating over, will be forthcoming in a couple months, you'll see.) Olive would curl herself-- in the sun, on my lap, on the back of the armchair-- and help. In her small sweet gold-eyed petal-tongued way, she helped me dredge up sparkling vocabulary words I thought I'd lost, and tighten my metaphors. She possesses an uncanny knack for placing quotes, that cat. It's all to Olive that I owe the final product.

Never underestimate the power of a gentle encouraging presence in your life. Especially when you're laboring out of a spare bedroom, trying to turn "aspiring" into "actual," sitting alert and crossed-fingered, watching your dreams start to lift off.


michelle said...

This is THE BEST!!!!!!!!!! Woohoo Olive!!!!

Kristina Strain said...

Thanks Michelle!

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