Tuesday, May 22, 2012


The other night I sat down at my desk. I used to always write at night, often very late, but the last few years I've taken to writing early in the morning and going to bed before midnight. Lately, though, I've returned to my nocturnal ways. And it works. 

Writing at night: all those hours before you in the dark. Nothing in the way. And the room dark, and outside dark, and just the spotlight of the lamp and the screen, the desk a small stage. I light a candle every time and start the music (I'll listen to the same album hundreds of times when I'm writing, usually something instrumental like Sigur Ros or Amiina or Kammerflimmer Kollektief, lately it's been Yo La Tengo's They Shoot, We Score.) My notebooks around me. The little flame flickering. Just like I always have, from Brooklyn to Iowa City to Portland to Berkeley to Portland to Oberlin to Virginia. It is the most familiar thing in the world, this small pretty space in the dark. And more than anything else I know it feels like home.



Tea Portland said...

You really made my day. Thanks for sharing a piece of your life. You've got an amazing blog. More power to you:-)

Anonymous said...

Hello Professor Johnson,

How are you? Are you still at William and Mary?

Chelsey Johnson said...

Hello dear Anonymous, I am indeed still at William & Mary! And you? Drop me a line at my WM e-mail address if you please.