"One of the things that happens when you give yourself permission to start writing is that you start thinking like a writer." -Anne Lamott
It's true. Ever since I started writing "publically," I seem to think of things to write about, words or phrases I like, and images or stories to share. I've realized that writing helps me to process the world around me. I guess to a certain extent I have always known this, being an avid journaler and someone who has always enjoyed putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard - doesn't have the same ring to it though). Writing about my art helps me understand better what I'm creating and why. Writing about the world helps me cope, process, and thoughtfully consider. Writing about my faith brings depth to my spiritual practice and sheds light on my soul. And writing about food (lately, homemade bread) is quite simply...fun.
That said, I am grateful for the opportunity to share my stories and musings with the world.
Whenever I have spent significant periods of time traveling or living abroad, I have been committed to documenting it - all the stories, questions, experiences, concerns, joys, fears - all of it. And when I am back "home," on my own soil, in my own space, I still continue to keep a journal and enjoy my writing but not so avidly. I guess the newness and strangeness and emotions of a unique place give me more reason to write. But that's part of what I love about this whole backward process. This thing, this public writing, began after one such period of dedicated journaling. I'm just here. Home. In between. There's something quite grand about it's non-grandness. The lack of the great and the glorious (wait, who says the everyday isn't great and glorious?) makes me more sensitive to the essence of life in its smallness. Not that I don't still long for adventure with every fiber of my being, but there's something to be said for the bits and pieces, this and that.
I noticed something really lovely the other day. I was on my way home in the middle of a steady rain after we had a series of uncharacteristically warm days here in Chicago. The trees were tricked into spring and even started to show their buds. As the temperature dropped and the rain fell, the freezing droplets of water formed little globes of ice around the tree buds. When the streetlights shown through the ice encrusted tree buds, they looked just like little Christmas lights. As if the tree had done away with the tradition of leaf or flower buds (that is so last year) and decided to grow little globe lights instead. I kept my eyes open for fireflies and fairies, thinking that would be just the tree they would alight.
I couldn't be more excited for these subtle notes of spring - whether they be trees of buds or lights. My Seed Savers Exchange catalogue arrived in the mail last week, a glorious collection of heirloom seeds and every gardener's dream. I sat on the floor like a 6 year old with the latest American Girl catalogue, earmarking the varieties of fruit and vegetable seeds that tickled my fancy. Red Velvet lettuce. Garden Sunshine peppers. Pennsylvania Crookneck squash. Italian Heirloom tomatoes. Yes, please. I almost feel like cutting out all of the beautiful images of fully ripe fruit and veg and pasting them to the frozen ground outside - just a little encouragement and a hint of hope, a whisper of what's coming:
If that doesn't give you hope of spring and inspiration for a poem I don't know what will. For now, I guess I'll just keep noticing elements of the everyday, writing, and waiting.
I bid you dreams of trees budding with orbs of light, berries bursting with sunshine, and various other bits and pieces of the ordinary.