Putting One Text in Front of the Other
by Anna Pappas
I have a group of morning text friends. This is a small circle of women with whom I touch base by text at the start of each day, to help sustain creative hope. When I can see the tumbleweeds of dust down my hall and my to-do list includes, "throw everything out" and "do taxes", I turn to one or all of these women.
Me: Feeling despair (send) Don't have a thought in my head (send)
Friend: I hear you. This is currently what my living room looks like (inserted picture of dirty socks, a cordless drill and a bag of volleyballs)
Me: Gawd. If it makes you feel any better, this is my hair (inserted selfie) (send)
Friend: I like the George Washington thing.
Me: I know, right. Where do I even start (send)
Friend: We are going to set a timer for 15 minutes. You will change out of your pyjamas, sweep your hallway, sort some receipts and drink water. I will tidy my living room, grab some coffee and pay my phone bill. Then, we will check in. Then, we will write
Me: Thanks (send)
Sometimes it's setting a time frame, sometimes it's inspiration in the form of a YouTube video of jumping goats and sometimes, it's dreaming out loud about a life where 1) a bag of money shows up to fund an entire season of work or 2) anonymous Greek mothers swoop in, clean your house and disappear before your shame and mortification even begin to burn a hole through the lining of your stomach.
But mostly, it's about having a group of friends who moves through the world with me with the understanding that a text may arrive at 7 am that will require advice, inspiration or a picture of the condition of one’s kitchen.
I need those people who know the artistic rut, intimately, who understand that the inability to move forward can sometimes be a result of current events despair or an unmade bed or a cramped up hamstring due to dehydration. They sit by me in the utter boredom of it all and in turn, I sit by them.
It’s not anything revolutionary or new. It’s rudimentary and it helps me carry on. Stating the obvious:
Have friends. Drink water. Make art. THEN get your volleyballs in order.