Boutique hotels are what I enjoy.
Properties, as they call them in the hospitality industry, don’t appeal to me.
A property is a land that’s vast, while a hotel is a home away from home.
I roll my compact roll-on into the calm lobby of Park Hyatt Saadiyat.
No left wing or right wing, I’m shown to my room a short elevator ride away.
I unpack my few belongings and cast myself on the bed.
Of which, on my side table, lays “Big Magic”, Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert.
A book, which I read half way through on my flight to London and polished off on my flight back to Dubai. Still in it, between the pages, lies my boarding pass, Economy, Seat 60 K, Zone E.
A casual read, but harnessed within, a chapter that I return to often. As summarizing does justice to none, below I retype the passage,
“The Tigers Tail
I met Stone when she was nearly ninety years old, and she regaled me with stories about her extraordinary creative process. She told me that when she was a child growing up on a farm in rural Virginia, she would be out working in the fields when she would sometimes hear a poem coming towards her- hear it rushing across the landscape at her, like a galloping horse. When ever this happened, she knew exactly what she had to do next: She would “run like hell” towards the house, trying to stay ahead of the poem, hoping to get to a piece of paper and a pencil fast enough to catch it. That way, when the poem reach her and passed through her, she would be able to grab it and take dictation, letting the words pour fourth onto the page. Sometimes, however, she was too slow, and she couldn’t get to the paper and pencil in time. At those instances, she could feel the poem rushing right though her body and out the other side. It would be in her for a moment, seeking a response, and then it would be gone before she could grasp it – galloping away across the earth, as she said, “searching for another poet.” But sometimes (and this is the wilder part) she would nearly miss the poem, but not quite. She would just barely catch it, she explained, “by the tail.” Like grabbing a tiger. Then she would almost physically pull the poem back into her with one hand, even as she was taking dictation with the other. In these instances, the poem would appear on the page from the last word to the fist – backward, but other wise intact. “
I think of the introduction I’m due to submit for my upcoming food guide to be published within the month. Nothing comes to mind.
I adorned myself with a white hotel robe, an absolute tradition I have, lather on my extra strength sunblock and make my way to the beach.
I walk along the chili shores, my toes only touch the water and I enjoy the wind. I lay, I muse, I consume a coconut and I just am.
With the sun dipping in the sea and a dinner date looming with my family, I tie up my robe and head to my room to ready myself.
Having just showered and dressed, my hair still in a wet braid, I switch off the lights and start sliding my balcony door closed.
The beach breeze fills the curtains with life, and I hear words trailing along my thoughts. First, ever so faintly and then escalating louder, similar to pedaling past a live singing performance.
Before my legs take me past the noise of the performance, I rush towards the desk drawer, pulling it open, and patting the insides down for paper and pen.
A minute later, on a Park Hyatt mini pad lays the introduction I was waiting for.
As a significant portion of my writing is based on detailing the experience of events, I thought, while reading the passage in Big Magic, there was never a better documentation of the rush of creativity through you.
Here’s to finding your paper and pencils in time and even more so, grabbing your Tigers by their Tails!