Sometimes, that’s all it takes. Twenty minutes to get from Echo Park to East LA. Twenty minutes to get from Irvine to Santa Ana (without traffic). Twenty minutes to make a lovely cup of coffee in a French press (if you believe in steeping your coffee for 11-17 minutes, like I do). Twenty minutes to take a shower and get an idea for the next piece of writing. Twenty to minutes to sit and read a chapter of a novel or an essay in a magazine. Twenty minutes to take a walk down the block and see what the world looks like that day.
Twenty minutes can make a difference. We each have about forty-eight waking twenty-minutes per day. Twenty-four of those might be spent at a full-time job. Hopefully, at least six of the forty-eight are spent with meals. Maybe another three or six might be spent traveling between a here and a there.
And then there are those things which mystically eat up the rest of those twenty-minute increments: paying attention to bills, talking to friends, responding to email, meandering around social networks online, watching a television show, cooking dinner, grocery shopping, the list is endless.
But there must be one twenty-minutes that can be taken for something that just feels good. That’s not so greedy, is it? A poem can be written in twenty minutes, from first thought to last word.
It feels good to take even one twenty-minutes. It’s worth it. It doesn’t need to be written down. It doesn’t need to be scheduled. It can just happen. And then it’s done. And we move on.