I suspect that I am underusing this blog. From posting once a week when I started last summer, I’m down to posting once a month. I wait for inspiration; I get through the rest of my to-do list first; I edit things slowly. It takes me up to a week of loitering to post anything after I’ve written it. The process seems full of obstacles, real and imaginary.
And in the meantime – in my real, everyday life – I write copious amounts in my notebook/journal every week. I love writing for myself – it’s like speaking to a dear friend. Unconditional listening with no judgement. Some occasional heartfelt advice. Words of wisdom gleaned from greater writers and thinkers than myself. To-do lists and notes from meetings and conference calls. Intricate doodles from those same long calls. And then moments of poetry.
Rereading my journals sustains me through challenging moments – I can step away and recognize my emotions and processes as waves that pass over me, clouds moving across the sky. When I am absorbed in feeling I am often surprised at how differently I felt a week ago, a month ago, a year ago. I start to see the patterns and cycles, and know that this too shall pass.
If I could save one thing in my house from a fire – apart from the people – it would be my stack of notebooks. Even the thought of that loss clenches a knot in my stomach.
A public forum is not a natural fit for me. A deep conversation with a friend or two or three is. But I’m learning that the trick to being a highly relational, sociable introvert – which I am – is to make every relationship as personal, particular, and intimate as possible, and then gather all of those beloved people together often.
I want to keep stretching myself to share writing with people who are not yet in that safe space with me. Because as I keep telling my kids, as I encourage them into new situations, every dear friend, everyone I now love, was once someone I didn’t know. And I had to take a risk to welcome them into my life. And so I will choose to continue to take those risks both privately and publicly. Because the potential rewards are huge.
But to write anything to public consumption requires me to give myself a big push, every time.
And so perhaps it is time for some quicker sketches. Conversations starters. Experiments. I am inspired by Rozanne’s and Brooke’s 100 Scribbles. I am not committing myself to a daily post right now (perhaps never!) – I’m away from internet contact intermittently at various times of year, and I like it that way. But I will up the volume, and focus on economy of words. Loosen up. Reduce the stakes. Let go of the curse of professionalism. Just create and share something. And so I believe this is the perfect time to experiment with poetry, which I have been doing the past couple of months. Because why write an essay when it’s so often one simple image that I am trying to carve out. I will start with this one.
A map of the world
I learned once in a dream
That the answer is to dance
To dance across the intricate
Patterns of life
Its forms and permutations
In my dream
My body caught celebration
Radiated into wholeness
Hummed with the hum of the spinning universe
Every creature, every tree and plant and micro-organism
Under the loving rhythms of my feet.