Zen Radar Writing in Europe
I have a Zen radar, which finds the cool artsy places to work. As a copy editor and writer, my office is wherever my heart says, “Here.” I search around, laptop in hand, and when I feel that “mother’s hug” I know that’s the place where the magic will happen. I do that at home each morning with my Zen radar on, searching for the “feels.” Hmm. Livingroom on the comfy couch? Sun’s a bit bright. Office with a candle lit? Strong possibility. Backyard swing with the hummingbirds? Mmm. There’s that hug feeling.
On the road in Europe, my Zen radar blips constantly at “the perfect spot” because they’re everywhere. When my hubby and I have a long driving day and I’m working in the car and we’re zipping past castles, seas, mountains, and villages nestled in valleys or clinging like barnacles to the side of a cliff, my radar can sometimes scream HERE! Wait—HERE! No—HERE! HERE! HERE!” These are the moments I respectfully put away the manuscript and sponge in the beauty of our little rock hurling through space. That’s as important as breathing. That’s how the artist finds stories.
Europe in the fall so far has been sweater weather at best. At last, in France, it begins to sprinkle. My hubby Anthony dons a coat and scarf and steps out for a long day of outdoor work. Today, it will be in the mud. Not a problem if you make it an adventure, which Anthony always does.
Too soggy for my computer, my outdoor office is traded for two propped-up pillows and a down-filled duvet in our cozy hotel room.
Thunder punches the clouds, and a deluge floods the streets—and surely my spouse as well, as the mud turns into creeks outside.
And here I am, warm and cozy, sorry for my soggy spouse, happy that my Zen radar is on overload with an artist’s stormy-day atmosphere.
I have a record-breaking day for pages done. I am thrilled, and my soul is full.
Sundown, Anthony tramps in, and we are both starving—we haven’t eaten since our early breakfast.
We drive to the nearby ancient city of Gordes—one of those “clinging to a cliff like a barnacle” towns—and walk the streets. Turns out, this is the day they have closed for the season. On top of that, it’s Monday.
We drive to the next town, and the next. “Y a t’il des restaurants ouverts?” Any restaurants open? Nope. None.
With the wipers swiping buckets in a frenzy, we finally come upon a grocery store. Opening the car door, rain dumps on us as we laugh our way in, soaking. With no access to a stove or microwave, we buy a prosciutto salad, goat cheese-and-fig wrap, and a bottle of rosé.
Back under the duvet, together this time, clinking glasses, we enjoy an astonishingly delicious dinner (that came to 20 euros total.) My Zen radar signals again. After all, I have my sweet man, a perfect impromptu dinner, and France in the rain. Magnifique.