I’m backed into a grove of trees next to the softball field fence. I usually just hang out here while Grace practices for two hours. I read and write, doze a little, cheer a little, maybe listen to a Tiger’s game. It’s hot today, but I’ve rolled the windows down and a cool breeze blows through the car while stray hairs tickle my cheeks. I smack at a mosquito that’s chosen to snack on my arm.
My son played T-ball on this field and the other just down the way. I remember when he accidentally caught a pop foul while playing catcher. It seems so long ago. I think that was the same day our friends from Colorado were visiting. I remember that one game and the chubby little guy who’d run the bases with his face to the crowd and the biggest grin on his face.
Ahead of me on the right side of the drive is the 4-H building. We spent a lot of time there when the kids raised and showed rabbits.
In just a few weeks this whole area will morph into a midway filled with whirlings and twirlings, loud music, fat cords underfoot, carneys hawking games, and the thunder of superstock tractors and demolition cars.
The air will explode with the aromas of elephant ears and popcorn and cotton candy and corn dogs and Italian sausage.
We’ll wrap our whiffers around the scents of hogs and sheep and horses and cows and chickens–odors that both appeal and repel.
Dust will fly and grit will lodge between my toes and behind my contacts.
We camped back by the animals one year. That was the time my son, after being told not to run, bonked head-first right into the hitch of a 5th wheel. Abby said the sound was like a gunshot, and blood was everywhere. That wasn’t the first time he got stitches.
That might have been the year we won two chickens at the 4-H auction–Henry and Henrietta. They turned into Henry I and Henry II, and we turned them over to an Amish lady, who turned them back to us in a styrofoam cooler. I cooked them. But we couldn’t eat them.
Time’s gone by so fast, and I’ve forgotten so much. I wish I’d been better at regular journaling.
My husband’s cousin sent a check the other day for their share of the flowers we planted at the cemetery. “We’ve been busy taking care of Mom’s things,” she wrote. “She died in January.”
And I panicked. Aunt Viola (my mother-in-law’s sister) just died? And we didn’t know? Can’t be. I shut my eyes tight and tried to remember.
I talked to my husband about it. “Oh,” he said. “That must be Joe’s mother. I’ve only met her once, I think, at Aunt Viola’s funeral.”
“Did we go to Aunt Viola’s funeral?” I asked.
“Yes. And we had the funeral dinner at our church.”
I. Can’t. Remember.
Not. One. Detail.
But I plant flowers every year in front of the headstone where her name is engraved. It scares me a little.
Friends reassure me that if I’m worried about my memory, I don’t need to worry about my memory. It’s if I’m not worried that I need to worry. And I read somewhere that we need to forget some things in order to create more memories.
That bothers me a bit today, too. The creating thing. I pick up my artist’s sketchbook, the one I’m using as a notebook for this creativity class, and I write:
I don’t understand it. I just finished a memoir workshop and I’ve started this one–learning to think like Leonardo Da Vinci. But I’m feeling numb. Saturated, yet unsqueezable. Words have soaked deep and don’t seem to want to bubble to the surface. I’m tired. I’m procrastinating. I’m overwhelmed. With everything. I feel locked up and blocked down.
All this creativity training, and I’ve got a little writer’s block?
But I know it takes time for it all to simmer and settle. And I know what I’m doing is firing and sharpening neurons.
So today I’ll move more physical clutter from the house, just a few steps on my march toward mini-minimalism.
I’ll make a batch of gazpacho and prepare some fruits and veggies for quick snacks.
I’ll whip up a green smoothie, sit in the sun (if it ever comes out), read a book with no agenda but to enjoy it.
I’ll read some Scripture while I sip on some Red Velvet Chocolate tea with a little almond milk. Maybe I’ll sketch a picture.
I’ll take care of myself.
I’ll sit down and look up.
I’ll be still and know.
And I’ll remember my mom’s words, “This, too, shall pass.”
When did you last experience writer’s block?
How did you shake it?
In community today with Jennifer and Emily