Monday, February 18, 2013

What's In It For Me

 I've been feeling strangely perky of late.  It might be the lengthening hours of daylight--I've noticed a definite decrease in melancholia among my local friends since the beginning of February--or it might be the crazy new training I'm doing with Bisou (more on this in a later post).  But I think that the real cause is my frequent posting here.

It is encouraging to see the number of "hits" rise proportionally to the frequency of posts.  And it is way  more than that--it warms the very cockles of my coeur--when you respond.  But daily posting does even more than that.

A normal day on this windy hilltop consists of a series of mundane tasks enlivened by a visit with a friend or a good movie in the evening.  But if it is a day in which I plan to write a post, it becomes a day lived with intention, a day in which my inner periscope is constantly scanning the horizon for possible topics as I fold the laundry, trim the dogs' nails, or mist that darn lemon tree.  A day when I take special note of the weather, check the mood of the hens as well as my own, remember things I've read or heard people say.  A day that builds quietly to a climax when I open my laptop and type in a working title.

If I didn't have this self-imposed posting deadline, outwardly my days would go on exactly as they are.  I'd be walking the dogs in the woods, folding the eternal laundry, defrosting the supper veggies.  But preparing to write a post gives shape to my experiences.  If there's nothing on the horizon but a basketful of laundry to be folded, the very fact that I'm trying to come up with something to say about it redeems it from drudgery and gives it meaning.

Finally, after the shitty first draft and the draconian deletions and the final tweakings, I stuff my message into its Blogger bottle and push it out into the ether.  And then comes the reward that only writers know about, the exquisite relief of having written.

What funny creatures we are, with our infinite hankering for story.  When I was very small and had to take afternoon naps my mother's sister would often take me to her room and let me lie on her bed.  Then, with the curtains drawn against the afternoon sun, she would quietly turn on her radio.  Often all she could get was static, or those weird whistling sounds that ancient radios used to make.  But out of that static she would make up a story about a mosquito that lived inside the radio and was telling us stories in mosquito-language. 

And that is what blogging is for me:  making stories out of the static of everyday life, giving it shape, color and direction.  Making it bearable.

5 comments :

  1. this is what it means to be a writer.
    i so identify with that post. even though i'm down to blogging pretty much only on sundays. but it makes me look forward to sunday.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I know--I miss your more frequent posts. But am grateful for the ones you do write.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'll say it again, I have no idea why someone hasn't hit you up to publish a book based on your blog! You are an absolute gem of a writer. I get so excited when I see your facebook announcement!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You are so sweet...but given the state of the publishing industry, I suspect that I and many others will continue to be found in the blogosphere rather than between the covers of a book.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the exquisite truth of this line: "...the exquisite relief of having written."
    Kudos, Lali.

    Michael Downend
    hatttiefilms@gmail.com
    Puerto Vallarta, MX

    ReplyDelete