Horizon at Sandy Point

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Write or go mad?

This is my hour of the day. In the dim light just before the tropical day breaks bright open. The thoughts swirling around the back of my mind for days now may be ready to come to my fingers. "May be?" - I never know until I am here - fingers to the keys, butt on chair. The sleek shiny surface of the new Mac is a tactile impediment. This computer feels like a new brain... almost empty. Some people like a clean desk. I long cultivated the ability to be amid noise, clutter, people and children talking, dogs barking. It was a survival mechanism in a newsroom, or having a desk in a corner of the living room.

The process of writing is not so complicated. In pajamas or office wear, you look like you are doing nothing. You look like you might be asleep except for fingers clicking keys. Inside you worry, have I read enough (meaning have I done enough research), should I have made a more detailed plan, was there someone else to talk with, another place to have gone. Should I have project managed this? But those are worries not thoughts.

Here you are, ready or unprepared as you are in life, and the only thing to do is start. The first word, the first sentence, the first paragraph. Perhaps you will come back later and delete most of it, change it, reach a different place, a new conclusion. But this is your hour, your time. The light is growing, birds waking up. The dogs have gone back to sleep. It's almost time to have a banana or breakfast. Is this all you have done?

The brain feels like it is the only part alive. There's urgency now. And a list of things to knock off - perhaps you can come back to it later today - after lunch, before dinner? The best prospect might be to wait for another pre-day.

But wait, you've started! The thoughts are lining up along the brain stem. Don't lose the thread. Keep the sentences coming. Write every day. A blog if you must. Write, re-write, edit, repeat. You are making the matrix for your life.

When Pat Bishop was making music, she was also painting, but she was writing all the time. When I am cooking, I am making recipes in my head, and writing about food.

So, my daughter, when you are swimming with the fishes, measuring small organisms, doing the tedious and mundane, or having adventures in some far corner of the world, shivering in a train station, alone, tired,  or happy and energized, think about this - you are writing your life. The process of putting it down in a paper, a blog, a status on fb, is a matter of sorting, connecting the random cards in a game of sequence.


  1. Only yesterday onthe plane I thought that I should start writing my thoughts down... maybe just one liners. when they come up.