Writers write. Okay, so I’m sitting here waiting for inspiration and it’s not coming. Does that mean I’m really not a writer? But I already knew that, didn’t I? I can’t plot my way out of a paper bag, my poems don’t rhyme and my diary/blog groans whenever I get near the keyboard. “Oh, no, not you again!” Sorry, Dell, I have something inside that wants to bleed all over your computer screen but it never comes out the way I want it to. I suspect all bloggers feel the same way from time to time. Pease tell me that’s a true statement of fact! Please tell me other bloggers are like me and wear out their back space and delete keys first.
I’m not fond of Stephen King’s horror genre books but he’s a productive (and many would say a brilliant) writer and two of my favorite movies are adaptations of his stories---The Shawshank Redemption and Stand By Me---which both started out as novellas in a collection of four novellas published together and titled Different Seasons. The following quote from the book is one of my favorites and it fits perfectly to where I’m at in my life:
“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them -- words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a tellar but for want of an understanding ear.”
Where I’m at in my life. Where is that exactly? I’m an aging woman with no children and a dead husband and no one to leave a legacy of life-lessons learned. Well, Levi could out live me but his canine brain has taught me more than I’ve taught him. Smile and wiggle all over when humans approach, it makes them happy. Be sweet but persistent and you’ll get more treats. Listen more than you talk, others need to be heard. That last one is an important lesson to learn and maybe instead of trying to write what seems so important in our heads we bloggers should just tell it to a dog. They always seem to have an understanding ear. But what really bothers me is ‘why.’ Why do I feel compelled to write even if I can’t do it the way I want? Is it a sign that I’m preparing for the next stage of life (dare I say death) that I want to sprinkle wisdom around like fairy dust and hope it grows after I’m gone? Is it a sign of grandiose thinking to even believe I have wisdom worth imparting to the world? I still have secrets to tell. Should I tell…or take them to the grave? I know what Stephen King would say about my back story: “The most important things to remember about back story are that (a) everyone has a history and (b) most of it isn’t very interesting.” He’s one smart guy. Alien abductions really were pretty common back in the 70s. That last part was a joke although Mr. King would probably say if you have to tell someone “it’s a joke” you need to rewrite it.
Yesterday I packed up the dog and we went on a little road trip, south about an hour and half to where my two nieces live. One is out of state and she invited me to use her cottage while she’s gone---it’s the same cottage where I spent all my summers growing up. My other niece also lives on a lake near-by and I invited myself over for a visit. She is one of those people who is perpetually happy and upbeat. Even when she’s talking about something bad that may have happened she has a way of giving it a humorous spin that gets everyone laughing. Her husband has a great temperament, too. It’s like they’ve ridden that same train so long you can’t tell them apart---a perfect match. My other niece and her husband were both well-liked teachers who have a wide circle of supportive friends and they are another perfect match. I would say I’m very proud of my nieces but I didn’t have a hand in forming the wonderful women they’ve become. So instead I say I am proud to call them family.
I have a real aversion to saying, “I’m proud of you” if I didn’t have a direct hand in helping someone reach benchmarks and accomplish goals. Quirky, I know. It’s a common phrase thrown all over the place. Instead, I try to say things like, “Be proud of yourself! It’s quite an accomplishment to….” I also have an aversion to saying, “I’m sorry for your loss.” The “loss” has a name! “I’m sorry you lost Frank or Nellie.” A loss is personal and only Hallmark should be using generic words at a time like that. And they should be a making card that reads, “Dear Niece, if I had a daughter I would be joyously happy if she had turned out just like you.”
Look! I’ve got my word quota in for today. I guess Stephen King was right when he said, “Don’t wait for the muse.” In other words, just start writing and let the words take you where you need to go. ©
“It always comes down to just two choices. Get busy living, or get busy dying.”
Stephen King, Different Seasons