For many years, I jumped out of bed at four in the morning in order to have time to write. I could never write after work or at night. By the time I made dinner, cleaned the kitchen and washed a couple of loads of laundry, I was too tired to even contemplate doing one more thing.
But the early morning time was different. Refreshed, I filled many pages in my journals and in my documents folder on my desktop computer. Some pages were filled with bittersweet memories of my youth and others were filled with sections of a book that never really made it past the 15th chapter. Some pages were filled with human-interest stories for newspaper columns and others were filled with the trials and tribulations of daily life. And some pages were simply filled with doodles, thoughts and ideas. But I smiled and laughed and cried through it all and watched others do the same thing, too. I wrote, and shared, a lot. People liked my writing because they could relate.
But then my writing got sidelined by never-ending work, family matters, new grandchildren, and–Oh Lord, of all things–that damned-addicting, online bulletin board Pinterest. So, before I knew it, the flow of words that once coursed through my brain uninhibited by praise or criticism slowed down to a trickle. And, since I’m not a journalist or author by trade, and there wasn’t a deadline to make my fingers reach for a pen or keyboard to open the spigot again, almost a decade passed by unrecorded.
It’s funny in a not ha-ha type of way that now it takes a deadline to motivate me, but that’s what it took to get me up at four in the morning for the last five days. I simply asked a friend to read my first draft and said I would have it finished by the end of day. It also helped that I read a quote last week that made me pause in thought, “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts,” says Anne Lamott, “You need to start somewhere.”
Start somewhere, indeed.
This was my first experience with adding watermarks to a photo using an app. I had just purchased my first smartphone and, suddenly, everything I ever wanted to do to a picture was available at my fingertips. I still didn’t know how to add my own signature, so I used the app font.
I love this picture and everything that it represents. It’s my “Welcome Home” landmark. 30 more miles and I’ll be home.
This is my first attempt to add a picture to a post. I suppose I could watch a You Tube video to learn how to do this correctly, but I enjoy fiddling with buttons to see what they do. This is the nature of scientific discovery. Hypothesize, experiment, and notate progress. I read on the Los Alamos website that Enrico Fermi noted, “Regarding the nature of scientific discovery, there are two possible outcomes: if the result confirms the hypothesis, then you’ve made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you’ve made a discovery.”
This morning, I have my first measure.
The other day, I started organizing my arts and crafts room and I came across a box that held my mother’s notes. She was a columnist for The Pagosa Sun, but she stopped writing many, many years before she died. After her funeral, I came home with a box full of her handwritten notes and a promise to my brothers and sisters that I’d organize the notes and make copies.
So, here we are, almost a year later, and I hadn’t opened the box, not even once. Just seeing her handwriting brought me to tears
This is the way life goes, and it passes so fast. Before you know it, all you really, truly, and authentically leave behind is a handwritten note.
The soul is revealed in a handwritten note.