Let's just say all is well here, I am deeply concerned about our country and our world, I've been reading some good stuff, and writing a little. Not enough, as our writing circle "assignment" was to write every day this week, and I don't really think Facebook posts should count.
In way of checking in, this week I'll share what I wrote for the circle last week after thinking about the "how" of my writing. I'm thinking this might turn into a poem -- it feels like a poem. At least it's listy.
My Mode of Writing: The Pen
I belong to a regular small-town family. We live in a regular house and have regular but lovely children and grandchildren. We love birthday parties and Taco Tuesdays. We usually go to mass on Saturday nights then come home to pizza and morally questionable TV shows. See? Regular.
But Clay is what they call a "worldwide expert" in his field, and travels the world keeping people happy and doing something important to great big engines that I couldn't begin to explain or understand. He is gone from home for weeks at a time, usually in remote areas of the world: the Australian Outback, mountaintops in Indonesia and the literal middle of nowhere Siberia. We installed a huge map of the world in our living room so we'll always understand just where he is, and our home is decorated with interesting things from his travels. Delicate tea sets from Japan and China. Happy little Buddhas and figures of Ganesha. A candle holder from Sweden, a Union Jack teacup, a vuvuzela, a boomerang. Many sets of Russian nesting dolls. Scarves, kimonos, jewelry, maps, books, teas, jams and chocolates.
Many years ago, I told him I didn't need him to bring me anything -- his return was gift enough, plus I am rotten at dusting all the knickknacks. So he started to bring me yarn. "Really useful," he said. First was Russian yarn, which we found after deciphering the label was made in China. Lovely Japanese yarn I can buy more cheaply at my favorite shop in Indianapolis. When he told me the story of how his taxi driver guided him through the sketchy back alleys of Pune, India to buy some yarn from the drive's cousin, I said no more yarn.
But he seemed desperate to bring me something, perhaps in restitution for all the months of our marriage that he's been gone, for the holidays and family gatherings he's missed. Maybe for the time I had to retrieve our middle child from a party after a 2 AM call from the sheriff.
So now he brings me pens. Pens labeled with Cyrillic alphabets, pens with crowns on top, pens that switch from red to blue to black to pencil, depending upon how you hold them. Short little pens that extend to regular length at the flick of your wrist. Pens with fine, fine tips, because he know those are my favorite.
Those fine tip pens allow me to write fast. They let my hand and brain keep closer pursuit in the race to get my words only paper.
So I write. Fast little poems for friend's birthdays, or to commemorate their addiction to Peeps. My novel that sits stagnant in a notebook as well as in a file on my computer. Pages and pages of journal entries on my life as a mom, mimi and wife who has struggled to be joyful and at peace in a marriage when she is so often alone, but yet never alone as long as I have a pen.