Time to write

Since my schedule has been twisted and turned and topsy-turveyed I’ve had to completely negotiate the time I journal. Usually, as in, my entire life, I have always journaled first thing in the morning. Especially when I camp. I’m up before everyone else, make the coffee, then hop down to the beach or along the river or sit near the campfire and write. It’s just the best. Me, my mug of steaming coffee, Nature, my thoughts. It’s my way of understanding myself better and opening my heart to the day’s known and unknown opportunities.

But since being in NYC with a new baby in the house, well, as you can imagine, nothing is predictable except nothing is predictable. You never know when the baby will need you or, since I’m remote teaching, when a student might email with questions or when you’ll finish feed-backing and tallying “collected” or “missing” accounts in the grade book. Consequentially, I’ve had to sneak-in journaling which, hipster that I have become, has morphed into “blogging” late at night. Let’s be clear, I’ve never been a night person but my compelling need to figure things out on paper is how I have coped with life since the third grade. These days, I am writing, not at a desk in a room that’s well-lit, but crunched in funny positions on the floor, in bed or standing up at the baby changing table. I don’t write every day, like I used to, because, well, being shut in, there’s not a heck of a lot to write about. I don’t meet new people. I’m watching great shows on TV. I have no time for reading, like I thought I would, and my knitting and art projects are pathetically being neglected. Frankly, I have everything to write about and nothing to write about.

I’m tired of the COVID-19 whining. We all are. We are here. We are coping. It’s not fun. We are finding the blessings. We are grateful for our health. We are grateful for family and friends. We have abundant empathy for those who are suffering and those who are helping us wade through these “dynamic”, “challenging”, “cruel”, “dire”, “heart-breaking”, and the adjectives go on and on, times. We’ve all seen every commercial imaginable that suggests “our” advertisers sincerely care. At Week Seven, we get it. There’s nothing more to write about. Thus, I don’t write as much.

Then there is being a new grandma. Now that I could write about every day: I watch her like I am an artist studying her every breathe, how she spreads her lips into a wide smile, the nature of her coos and gurgles, the predictable way I can make her tiny toes curl and open by gently pinching her heals. I’m curious about what makes my five-week-old granddaughter tick, and who she’s going to be, while training myself to focus on NOW.

The thing that I’ve discovered as a new, and I’d say somewhat reluctant, blogger is that now when I write it’s to an audience of unknowns. When I write in my paper journal, as I have done my entire life, it’s to myself. I write to sort things out. Usually the “things” and my thoughts are incredibly messy and misspelled, like the tangled pink yarn in my backpack awaiting my attention. Here in this space, I’m not naked; I have to wear loungewear.

This is all a round about saying that I’m still trying to figure this blogging thing out. How vulnerable should I be? Does anyone care? Is being truthful with each other in this strange walled world important? Will it make the world better? Is it just more noise and clutter when what we need are more private thoughts? I’m not sure yet. As I said from the start, this is an experiment.

What I do know so far is it’s nice to have a few people who read what I write. That’s really kinda cool. Thank you. It’s encouraging to think that some of my ramblings could have, somehow, in this mountain of information and virtual resources, positively impacted you. Because at the end of the day, connecting with each other–on a real and personal level–is how we change the world for the better. We have to take off the masks, channel our creative spirit, and be little kids again.

So here’s what my scientific experiment has determined: When I write at night I am more melancholy; I try to wrap up the day’s events, be insightful and find the light. When I write first thing in the morning, like I am doing right now, I write from the light’s perspective; I feel the promise of the day.

Let’s see if we can get some dialogue going: What is your best Time to Write? Like me, do you notice a difference in tone and topic? I look forward to hearing from you new virtual friend.

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