Early morning. I take my place on my cushion, set the timer, close my eyes, and breathe deeply. Nothing to do but sit. In a while I’ll go down to my office, but not yet. Now I’m simply present. Breathing in, breathing out.

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My heartbeat is calm, steady. I begin a slow, gentle scan, relaxing tension in my face, my neck, my shoulders–oh, so sweet. Quiet. So quiet. Such sweet stillness. A jolt of pain in my knee. I imagine I’m sending my breath there to release it. I imagine warmth, space. The pain dissolves

Maybe Owen didn’t say what he said in that scene yesterday. What if he just glanced at Chaucer, a look that silenced his companion?

No, not now. This is my quiet time. Relax jaw. Relax forehead. Breathe.

Does Muriel think her husband’s been unfaithful? Is that why—?

Not NOW. Deep breath in, longer breath out. Breathing in 1-2-3-4, breathing out 1-2-3-4-5-6. Quiet. Stillness. Breathing into the knee.

Oh, this is good. Beatrice’s late husband had a pack of hunting dogs. Dogs she feared.

NOT NOW. Deep breath in, longer breath out. Imagine my mind as vast as the sky. Thoughts are drifting clouds. I just watch them drift by. If the idea is important, I’ll remember it.

But what if I don’t?

Just passing clouds.

That’s just it. Passing. Capture it before it dissolves.

Here’s my problem. Owen Archer, longbowman, captain of archers, blinded in the left eye, now distrusts his aim–that idea came to me while doing a headstand in yoga class. And even though I was able to keep it in my head, elaborating it as I drove home, I always wonder whether I ever would have been published if I’d forgotten the idea by the time I arrived home.

Doubt is tricky–it feels like wisdom.

And it’s a fact that the inspiration comes in the pauses. When my mind eases all effort.

Sprong! What about this?! Hey! Pay attention! This is IT!

I open my eyes, pick up my notebook and pen, jot a few notes, set the notebook aside. Breathing in, breathing out.