Wednesday, January 28, 2015

to live, to tell


I've moved and consolidated my belongings multiple times this year, and right before Egypt I'm doing it again. I've always been stellar at hanging onto things, but now I dare say I'm getting the hang of this "whittling," subtracting to the essentials. Finding pleasures worth keeping.

Today I have a thick stack of folders and notebooks and journals to go through. Page after page of writing I've kept with me--a lot of one-off, unfinished bits. Poems and memories printed out during various corporate jobs(you can always spot the ones from inbox drafts). I leave in one week, so today is the day to go through all of this, type up what is worth keeping, and throw the physical away. Gosh bless Google Drive.



I found paragraphs detailing my strange skating rink hangout phase--for most of 8th and 9th grade I was there every weekend. During the week I tried to stay on best behavior to get there. This dull yellow building with brown letters--our small town mecca, this destination near the tracks. Freedom for me when I wanted it so bad. Five dollars would get you in the door, a buck more for skates. No parental units to slow us down. Shove your coat in a locker and tuck the key in your sock. Kiss boys from other schools and get to know the tough girls in the bathroom. Girls with bangs that arced like waves beyond their forehead, girls that blew perfect smoke rings. They were hell on wheels in the rink, split ends drifting past shoulders, leaning over sink with eyeliner pencils. Public displays were all the rage.

I'm so thankful to be a writer. I've spent the past 8 months living in the town of my youth--the first place I ever realized how much I love the pen and page, how necessary it felt for me to get it all down, as it happened and after. I know the very road we drove down when I decided I would have to experience all that I could because that is what I wanted to write from. Experience, experience everything. I remember that moment. Middle school, young. I was in the backseat of the car and I nodded the affirmation to myself--not just affirming but a promise. Live to tell the tale.

Foolish I forget just how much there is to tell.

I'm endlessly proud to be a creative person. To be a witness, to feel blessed for it. I love being a writer. I love looking back through the books, the journals, the random scribbled on receipts and napkins: so much life! And going back to read it is a bit like living it twice. I re-dedicate myself to this promise. To live, to tell. All this and love calms the quake in my heart. Sudden in my chest this brilliant whisper: thrive, thrive, thrive. Living well, living solid...even when it's tough. Especially when its tough. Who else is gonna tell my story?

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