Well, hello World!
I want to tell you intriguing things, stuff to mystify you, make you ache to know more about me. Alas, there’s not much to tell! I’m a regular kind of person…
– wife, daughter, sister, friend. Nothing so different from anyone else there. All those roles and relationships surround me, create me, push me. In my circles there are battles with illness, both physical and mental (whose circles aren’t tarnished with illness? Anyone out there??), nasty rattling skeletons, substance abuse issues, failures and wildly unexpected successes, financial concerns and superly-overjoyed dreams fulfilled. My world is a lovely place, all dents and scratches considered. Just a few days prior to writing this I was out walking with a friend (we’ve committed to stress-relief walks together at the end of each week) between three foot mounds of snow (no kidding! This winter’s a white one!) on a city-plowed path (for which I have yet to send them – the city, I mean – flowers. It’s on my To-Do List.), saying how agog I often am at the blessings in my life; how little I deserve such grace and goodness when others’ lives seem sometimes so unfairly targeted by misfortune. It’s a mystery to me – I just dunno why my life-borders seem so pleasantly placed. Really. I sometimes cry with gratitude.
– teacher (can you imagine how many thousands and thousands there are of teachers on this planet?) – high school, English mostly, some Psychology. I’m told regularly that it must be tough working with teens, but I love it. Them. Teens. They have a particular kind of truthfulness, a genuineness that gets lost somewhere between high school and career. I like when they discover something real, something honest and true about the world and themselves. I love when they make me see something new, something that’s been in front of me all along and how could I have missed it all this time but for something they’ve said or done? I love when they realize I can see through some facade they’ve so carefully constructed and that I’m not as frightened by what I’ve found behind the masks they wear (they?? We all. We all try so hard to hide! I, most of all.), as they were so sure I would be. It’s a kind of connection you don’t get, at least I don’t get, with adults.
– which leads me to ‘introvert’. Oh, extraordinaire!! Though all my friends would argue with that, snorting through their noses, wrinkling their brows as if to ask if I’ve even ever met me. I love people. Lovelovelove. People are the very center of all the universe. Not in a ‘we-are-the-only-beings-on-earth’ way (as if discounting beasts and God’s little critters, and exotic flowers, and herbs and the fragrance of wet soil would ever for a moment increase anyone’s quality of living) but my husband says all the time that if we aren’t investing into people’s lives what purpose might we be serving on this planet anyhow? And then he grunts something about doing all the good you can while you can yadayadayada. All that to say that I love people. But really? People are utterly exhausting! All that social navigating they require, and just trying to stay on top of every intuitive nuance of every social interaction… the analysis it takes to understand and follow all the subtexts is mindboggling. (Can you say INTJ, anyone??) They can suck the energy and drain the life out of me like a host of leeches during bloodletting. Nothing sucks me dry faster than a day spent without downtime. On the other hand, nothing is so exhilerating as seeing a person for who s/he really is, and meeting that person on some mutual level of understanding.
– gardener/traveler/reader – it does seem those three interests so often go together. I can imagine why: something to do with wanting to disappear from the face of the Earth for hours/days/weeks at a time – just to lose your boring ol’ predictable life and focus on fertilizing geraniums (they do consume vast quantities of the stuff!) purely for the sake of the geraniums; or people watching from a sidewalk cafe in Jerusalem, or finding your way out of conundrums with heros like Bilbo or Anne. All escapism. Did I mention ‘introvert’? Oh, feed my soul with something other than me!
– a spiritual venturer. A little Someone in a ginormous universe which only makes sense to me when I can piece the bits into a worldview that satisfies my craving for order and mystery. I must have explanations. I will have explanations (insert childish foot-stomping). *sigh* Okay, I wish for explanations. I really do. I want to know God, and spiritual truths, and the nature of the universe, and how what I think I know meshes with what I think I believe. It’s all a little messed up. But I have to have it. I tell you: spiritual questing is an addiction.
– writer. Junior, in training. I belong to a small but vibrant little writers’ group. We meet at my house on the last Tuesday of each month, bringing our little offerings. We read, we critique, we support and encourage and scoff and refill our wine glasses. It’s all very good. In my group there’s an avid fantasy writer whose stuff is full of weird language bits and colourfully scaled dragons (she has a weird name for them – they aren’t actually dragons – but since I’m not about to spoil her stuff by posting it here, dragons they shall remain until further notice); and we’ve got an experimenter – one month she shows up with sobering journaled disclosures and another she cracks up the crowd with comedic pieces detailing public eating practises – she’s currently exploring post-apocalyptic fantasy worlds; we have a foodie, though she wouldn’t recognize herself as such – she believes herself to be a short story writer (it can’t be denied, either – dramatic stories!) but every single story revolves around the kitchen and all drama can be amplified with some culinary reference – awesome! Those are the regulars. On occassion we are blessed by poets, both seasoned and fresh, bloggers, academics, adult x-rated fantasy ebook novelists… It’s always a crapshoot – anything could be read in my living room on those Tuesday nights. Never know. I love these girls.
As for me, I write short stories, sometimes a little grisly, always inspired by some truth-stranger-than-fiction that evolves unpredictably. I write memoirs – little anecdotal pieces about every days stuffs that mean something to me. And maybe to you too. I write reflections, mostly on work, on kids, on life, on the value of contributing to someone else’s universe and finding my own world is only meaningful because I can connect somehow with someone else. Maybe this is why I’m starting a blog. There cannot possibly be too many connections to people in the world. And if you are out there, looking for a connection to someone else, I can be like an arm waving in a sea of other arms: “Hey! Over here! I might be the one you’re looking for!” Or not. And that’s okay too.
Here’s another truth: I am avoiding my real writing assignment – a creative nonfiction based on my mother’s journals, her life, her memories – how her things move me, change me, have shaped me. How her story is my story in a way I haven’t explored yet. The magnitude of that project leaves me a little shortwinded, paralysis sets in, and just to get mobile again I turn to another short story.
And so, this blog, this is a procrastination tactic. I am putting off that which I am most frightened to do. Here I will put off until tomorrow what I fear I will wish I’d done yesterday. Come wander around with me; muse for a while; disappear from your own little world for a bit of time and then return, maybe a bit refreshed. One can always hope. Always hope.