Friday, July 8, 2011

Back Floating

One of the challenges of writing a blog is the recurring sensation that whatever I'm trying to say I've already said at least once before. When I'm writing fiction I can run in whatever direction I feel like, but non-fiction is different. My blog posts represent my voice, my life, and the spectrum of my experiences. And as in any phase of life, the routines and habits of life as a young mother sometimes bleed together and look and feel largely the same. It's like that awkward small talk moment when someone asks you, What's new? and you feel flushed, thinking to yourself, Nothing. Still the same as last time.

I re-read my last two blog posts this morning and thought to myself, Two posts on nostalgic goodbyes. Hmm. Maybe that's a little much for one week. I try to keep my blog posts honest and uncontrived by writing about the things that are either in the forefront of my thoughts, or moments in my life that affected me. But there are bound to be weeks when I feel keenly aware of the cyclical nature of my own thoughts. It's not as if I deliberately make up my mind to focus on nostalgic goodbyes one week, and unruly circus animals the next. But our thought patterns are an organic and often reactionary process aren't they? Like backfloating. You remain still and allow the current to pull you along.

photo credit
 For the past six weeks I have spent every single day either packing, traveling, unpacking, or hosting company in my house. Which means today was the first time in more than forty days I found myself alone without any sort of pressing task. So during naptime I turned off the ringers on my phones and crawled into bed to read. I love, love, love that time of day. That quiet space couched between the total chaos of raising kids. Eventually I fell asleep listening to rain drumming against my bedroom window and when I woke up thirty minutes later the sky was clear and blue. I puttered around my house for a while watching the storm clouds re-group in the distance, asking myself, So what's on my mind? What do I feel like writing about today?

What I came up with is the certainty that we can't orchestrate our own adventures and drama in the way of a page-turning fiction novel. But we can (and should) strive for creativity and originality in our work, even when our phone bills and laundry piles sit in the wings, calling us back to that human commonality that often feels tedious and boring. In the years to come I might have a couple hundred blog posts that mention thunderstorms because I love the rain. I do my best work when it is raining, as if the cleansing of the sidewalks outside has the same effect on my imagination, brightening everything in its wake.

I don't think any of us need to worry that the uneventful tedium of human life, the daily pushing of the rock up the hill, is leaching our vibrance. In writing, as in life, there will always be recurring themes so long as the person is writing and living honestly. But within those bookmarked themes there will also be smaller moments, surprises, tender mercies, and days of quiet puttering around the house that will help you to sharpen your lens.

As I sat at my desk writing this afternoon the image of back floating came into my mind, and it seemed to speak for everything that I'm doing and feeling today. The sky is looming above me and I'm not sure which way I'm drifting, but it sure feels good to let the current do the pushing once in a while.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...