Those first five minutes

I rarely want to do anything but lie about with my dogs listening to talk radio, eating sunflower seeds and playing solitaire on my phone.

Fortunately I would be even more disgusted with myself if I didn’t do more than that so I do things. Yet, the first five minutes of everything — exercising, cleaning, making things for my shop, sewing, reading Democracy in America — are torture. And working up to getting those five minutes over with is no carnival either.

I remember reading Mary McCarthy’s Venice Observed back in the days when I would sit on a couch or in a clawfoot bathtub in one quirky apartment or another reading for hours. In that memoir she cared for the goldfish of the friend who was away and letting her stay there.

I’m not sure if this is apocryphal but I think McCarthy’s husband Edmund Wilson would lock her in a room until she’d written so many words per day.

There is something I envy about that.

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