A friend and I get together and walk every two weeks or so. Once the hugs of greeting are given; cellphones and keys are tucked away in various pockets; and hats are fitted into place – we get to the task of walking. And talking.
My friend quickly runs through her personal update and then asks me excitedly, “what have you been thinking about lately?”
I like that question, the way she puts it. Though, I have to ask myself, is that really interesting? The things I’ve been thinking about?
I don’t think so.
Of course, just as I’m about to go on and on about how I haven’t been thinking about anything interesting and I have nothing to say, I start talking about what it is that I actually have been ruminating on.
I love that I have a friend who either pretends to actually be interested in my mindless meanderings, or perhaps she is just so valiant, that she sees the need this here writer has to ponder her questions aloud so she can continue with the tasks at hand: writing.
I haven’t posted a blog since February.
But that’s because I haven’t written a word since March 14.
I had the need to pause. To take a self-inflicted moment of introspection. I found myself reading more philosophical, theological, spiritual, woo woo, biographical books. Listening to a lot of podcasts on writing and a few on life’s purpose. And then there was a week I just felt called to be quiet. I mean, in my bones I just needed silence.
For one week, I picked four hours a day (not in a row) and without phone, computer, music, TV, or book, I was just…quiet. There was no hurry to do anything. The laundry, dusting, dishes, grocery shopping, thinking of what came next…all ceased to be important. Sitting in my backyard staring at my growing grass and listening to the birds, I allowed that to be the most important thing I needed to do at that moment.
I’ve recently heard a comparison of our internal being, our soul, our spirit, call it what you will…but I it was likened to a “vast wilderness”. I suppose I felt a desperate need to go into the woods of myself and live deliberately for a few days. And it did not disappoint, my inside wilderness. My inside forest. (A forest because I’m more prone to trees and mountains and mountain lakes and wildflowers.)
The week was needed and very interesting to say the least. Now, I’m back to civilization, after my woody romp. I’m back to writing and thinking.
What am I thinking about lately? A myriad of things really.
I’m thinking of how I used to get so bored at church when I was a pre-teen; so much so that I would grab my mom’s hand and study it. The lines, the way she did her nails. I’d take off her rings and try them on, and then try to slip them onto her different fingers, just for something to do.
I’m thinking about how in the end, a woman’s life becomes a paragraph of words run in a newspaper obituary that no one really ever reads. And yet I’m thinking about a friend of the family who said he loves to read obituaries because every now and again someone publishes one that says. “I’m glad this person is dead. They were a mean son of a bitch and the world’s a better place without ‘em.”
I’m thinking about how all the stuff and things we surround ourselves with don’t matter. In the end, when it’s all said and done, you can’t take a U-haul with you and all a person can really make in this life is memories and all we can leave is the way we made a person feel.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
I’ve been thinking about something I declared to myself this past holiday season. A thing that has become a persistent mission statement if you will: “Writing is my religion; and poetry my scripture.” I’ve been thinking about all the people who do great things once they realize who they truly are.
In one of the podcasts I listened to, I heard Rainn Wilson (of Dwight Schrute fame; AKA Dwight from The Office) say: “the making of art is no different than prayer…being creative and being a creator is the ultimate testament to the great creator.”
I like that a lot.
I’ve been thinking about Star Wars and how the movie coming out this December is the last of the Skywalker Trilogy.
I’ve been thinking about the twelve different shades of green visible in my back yard. How would I describe each one? I’ve been thinking about grabbing my kid’s box of Crayola’s, curious to see how someone else defined them.
I’ve been thinking about the best way to dig up our sprinkler system and what I’d like to plant in my garden this year.
I’ve been thinking about a lot, but mostly, I’ve been thinking it’s time to get back to the work at hand: writing.