I came by here for a visit and found it’s been six months, almost seven, since I’ve strung any words together in this space.
Because I quit.
I keep getting new visitors, though. And views on my Facebook page–where I haven’t posted in the same amount of time.
Because I quit.
Actually, does it really matter? Is anyone reading blogs any more?
(By the way, I *have* continued to share a few (very few) words on Instagram along with photos, so I’d love if you’d follow along over there. The photo stream is down on the right, but you have to click for the text.)
This morning I climbed on the scales and discovered I’d gained back the 11 pounds I’d lost before I flew to Michigan in May for my sister’s wedding and then two weeks later to help care for the grand girl after her accident.
I’d quit regular walking and paid less attention to what I was putting in my mouth. I ate more Grace food. Read that as multiple DQ® Blizzards (Turtle Pecan Cluster and Chocolate-Covered Strawberry) and Totino’s® frozen Party Pizzas, just for starters. Don’t judge. Then my daughter got married here in Florida on Anna Maria Island in October–a destination wedding that Tropical Storm Nestor decided to crash. We flew back to Michigan for Thanksgiving, and then celebrated Christmas with our son and his extended family where diet food does not abound. His father-in-law is a fantabulous cook. It’s a blessing and a curse.
Come the new year, I vowed to get a grip. I organized various journals to start putting words on the page again. But even my One Line a Day journal hasn’t seen a pencil mark since January 14. I’ve tackled some projects hit and miss and find that it’s taking me longer to do anything. Like it took two days to clean and reorganize the master bathroom cupboards. We’re talking just the cabinets under the two sinks. That included going through old makeup and tossing some–but adding more because I was enamored with my mother-of-the-bride look. The grand girl suggested I buy a Morphe® eyeshadow palette like the cool kids, and the gal at Ulta who waxed my face helped me pick out an eyeliner–something I haven’t worn in forever. She helped me choose one that I could handle so I wouldn’t end up looking like the littlest grand scribbled on my eyelids. I’m still dreaming of false eyelashes. Mine didn’t blow off like some in the bridal party, but I digress. I also bought this nifty storage container for my nail polishes since I’ve started doing my own nails again.
Also, I’ve spent way too much time trying to clean and reorganize my office so I could get back to feeling like a writer.
I thought maybe I was slowing down and feeling sluggish and procrastinating because, after all I, *did* turn 71 last month. But I suppose it could have something to do with the scale. So after I threw a little fit, I drank a bunch of water and tied on my walking shoes. I even did something new–stuck some buds in my ears and caught up on a podcast. I don’t listen to many podcasts and never on a regular basis. Normally, I just listen to the sounds around me, stopping often to snap a picture. Today I didn’t pause even once in all the two miles. Funny, I finished faster than I usually do, too.
Lo and behold, as I began to near the end of my walk, some dam in my brain broke, and I got a flood of ideas. Thus how I ended up back here. I’m going to try to write a little in this space again. Probably not regularly, and probably not with any kind of a schedule. I’ve come to accept that schedules don’t work so well for me. Or I don’t work so well with them. So I might just be writing off the cuff, stream of consciousness stuff. Kind of journaling, I guess, seeing as how I can’t seem to keep up very well with paper and pen. Maybe I’ll tackle a writing or poetry prompt here, write a book review, recite a poem, or just jabber a little about what’s happening in my life or about what I’m learning. I’m also going to work at updating some of the extra stuff here. I mean if I’m going to keep paying Fistbump to manage this space, I ought to play in it a little, right?
Speaking of my walk, I listened to several episodes of The Slowdown with Tracy K. Smith, past U.S. Poet Laureate. In her introduction to episode 325, she said:
“To everyone who lives with the fear of poetry, relax. You don’t always have to understand it. You can let it nudge you. Let it cause something to stir–the sounds of words gliding along next to one another, the glimpse of an image . . . I don’t always understand the poems I admire. Sometimes poems operate by a logic that eludes me . . . Sometimes, like a conversation with a curious stranger, a poem speaks to me in words I know, but it leads me down paths that are startling and unfamiliar. Some poems seem to carry me away from my usual self . . .”
It reminded me of something L.L. Barkat wrote for Tweetspeak Poetry last week in a piece called, Poems From the Coffee Shop–Matcha and a Blessing For the Exhausted. She wrote:
“Not every poem in the EDP subscription will bring a person joy, but sometimes poems come into our lives to bring us other things: insight, peace, a pause, a breath. It’s not necessary to get any of these things every time we read a poem. It’s enough to sometimes get just the thing we didn’t know we were looking for. This thing might stay with us, far past the reading.”
I didn’t know I needed any of those words, but apparently I did, because here I am writing them down. I’m letting them sink in. Maybe you need them, too.
So the plan is to come back and write again in this space. I don’t know when or what or how often. Knowing myself, it could be sporadic. And knowing myself, I know I could find myself suddenly cleaning under the kitchen sink. And knowing myself, that could take a day or two once I start. [Insert eye roll here.]
But also I know this about myself. I may shift priorities, slow down, or speed up, but…
I don’t quit.