I think it’s true: the more you write, the more you write.
Writer’s write. It’s habit. It’s pen in hand. Laptop open. It’s simply showing up. The words, I’m discovering, will take care of themselves. It’s work, of course. Equal parts determination and devotion. Sometimes, delight. But mostly, it’s a decision.
So, I write.
I’ve been writing every morning. Journaling mostly. Lists. Notes. Phrases. Quotes. Ideas. Seeds.
As a child naturally seeks boundaries in order to feel safe enough to grow beyond them, so does the structure of my morning page first fence me in and then free me to roam beyond.
Ideas arrive, much to my surprise. Pages fill. I think bookish thoughts.
My notebook travels everywhere I do. Sometimes the words arrive in the spaces between. The space between leaving for work and arriving. There’s space too, after writing what I want to say in which I sometimes discover what I need to say.
I am not the sum of my words, but the subtraction of them. I take away what I mean to say from the entirety of what I wrote, so what’s left is what’s necessary, real, and true. Somewhere in all those words is my tiny moment of knowing.
And sometimes, simply sitting with stillness and silence feels just right. There’s faith the words will come, because the habit of writing proves this to be true.
After a rough walk-around count, we’ve just about 70 hide-aways in our home. Places where we tuck away the often used, useful, and very nearly used-up. Out of sight and out of mind, these drawers, doors, cupboards, and closets stash our stuff: the flotsam and jetsam, the random, and miscellaneous.
And December seems like as good a time as any to poke my head into each and every nook or cranny to take stock of what we’ve collected. I can knock off a quick drawer or two or even three each day of the month so come January the first – we’ve whittled away the unnecessary and organized whatever’s left. Closets and cupboards take longer, of course, but totally do-able in this long season of indoors.
Refrigerator door shelves need an annual purge of expired dressings, marinades, and forgotten vegetable stock. Medicine shelves need review too. Socks need sorting. Supplies need updating. In the process, the forgotten will be found and the accumulated reduced to the required.
Odds and ends. Bits and bobs. Remnants and paraphernalia. Pieces of our shared lives stored here, there, and often forgotten altogether. Each room, each drawer, closet, and cupboard with its own purpose, stuff, and substance. I’ll be going day by day, room by room, drawer by drawer, and item by item. A fun little focus for a dark, cold month.
Stepped out the back door with my camera yesterday afternoon, seeking a moment or two in the last of the light. Feeding my soul, I’m learning, needn’t wait. If I’ve a bit of opportunity, an open few minutes, that’s exactly the right time to take the time. Life will wait, the light won’t.
Time travel: soul searching, to soul feeding, to soul filling.
This morning, I’m living like it’s a Saturday instead of the Wednesday of a very busy week. I’m living like I’ve got all the time in the world and Sunday to spare.
If I’m living a Saturday sort of Wednesday, tasks typically saved for a Saturday morning feel just as do-able on a Wednesday before work. I can start tonight’s dinner, change the sheets, and tidy up some of the things that are down. There’s no stress on a Saturday sort of Wednesday – in fact, it’s a little comforting to set things to right. Some sort of mid-week coziness and delight in the ordinary. A momentary stay against busy.
There’s a sense of leisure on a Saturday sort of Wednesday. The realization that work can wait. That work almost always gets the best and most of me. That sometimes … sometimes … I want to give the rest of my life a turn. Make room for the writer, maybe. Show up for the part of me that feels better – feels best – when life slows to a Saturday sort of pace.
The difference lies, I think, in the decision making. In the perspective taking. In the understanding that I am in charge of my own life and how I choose, or need, to live it.
I know Wednesday’s really only a few minutes and a shower away. Just now though, I’m enjoying another cup of coffee — like it’s a Saturday.
I love to cook for you too, of course, but baking is how I’ll love you by the dozen. How I’ll thank you. Honor you. Welcome you. Or encourage you.
Cookies mostly. These for friends. Family. Church. These are especially to thank our custodian at school; they’re his favorites. And in the fall? Crisps.Cobblers. And by frequent request: pumpkin whoopie pies. (Let me tell you: nothing says love like the thick, whipped cream cheese frosting stuffed between those moist pumpkin pies.)
There’s love in a firmly packed cup of brown sugar, a leveled cup of flour, and some very special vanilla. I’m thinking about you with every spin of my spoon around the bowl, every slow pour of molasses, every sift and shake of confectioner’s sugar. Today my love smelled like freshly ground nutmeg. A first for me, and maybe for you too.
I hope you feel the full measure of my love coming from the warmth of my kitchen.