Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened Along the Way

Oh my goodness!  The sun is shining for the first time in days.  The air is crisp and cold, just as it should be in mid-February.  Every person I meet has a smile, a nod, or a friendly wave because it isn’t raining, it isn’t snowing, it isn’t windy, the streets aren’t slick and the snow isn’t melting into huge puddles.  And normally I would enjoy a day like today just fine.  I too, would smile or nod.  I would notice the brilliant, blue sky or the snow covered Mission Mountains.  But, today is not just fine.  It’s a bit better than that. 
You see, a funny thing happened over the past few months.  I decided to blog some of my writings because I thought others would get some measure of enjoyment out of them.  I really haven’t shared many of my rambling writings over the years and finally I got up the guts to put them out there into the world.  It really did take bravery on my part, kind of like watching your five-year-old cross the street to enter his Kindergarten class for the first time.  You silently pray, “Oh world…please take my precious, that which I have bestowed my energy upon, that I have held close to my heart…take this and please be gentle.”  When someone tells me, “Hey, I read what you wrote last night and it really made me think,” it is akin to having a teacher praise your child.  You swell with pride and feel gratified that your progeny is accepted…honored.  It may just be a passing comment, but it means the world.
So, when I decided to post some of my essays I really didn’t think of the unintended benefits.  But, a funny thing happened along the way.  I began to see the world with a sharper focus.  It was as if I had put on a pair of glasses--the perfect prescription--after years of seeing blurred images.  Now, I am more alert to the events in the world around me because I just may want to write about them later.  I listen more intently and hold images closer to my heart so that I can describe them more fully to others.  I’ll admit it. I study conversations, even to the point of eavesdropping, to try and duplicate the rhythm and flow of everyday conversation.  Colors seem to be a bit brighter, emotions a bit deeper; events a bit sharper.  And it occurred to me that just the intention of writing about something helps me be more present in the moment.  I find myself less preoccupied with the past or worried about the future.  This is a way of being that has been elusive to me for my entire life.  I’ve tried meditation, yoga, read numerous self-help books, deep breathing; what-have-you.  But, nothing has helped me stay in the present moment better than the simple thought, “I might want to write about this later.”  Even now as I look at the winter sun as it is low in the sky on this crisp afternoon I feel as though I’ve put on my special prescription glasses. 
So, I guess what I’m really trying to say is, “Thank you to all six of you who read these writings.”  I know that I am not the next Steinbeck or that my opinions or way of seeing is so radically different, but adding to this blog has been gratifying and fun and it’s opened me up in a way that I didn’t think possible.  I figure anything that helps bring clarity is a darned good thing.  I’ve always written in order to make sense of my life, but often would let great opportunities pass me by because I just didn’t take the time to put pencil to paper.  Now, I feel committed.  And when I re-read what I’ve written later it takes me back to the moment I wanted to capture…I view the same scenes, smell the aromas; feel the same emotions.  Maybe a picture is worth a thousand words.  But, as long as you keep reading I’ll keep taking the thousand-word approach, and throw in a few amazing pictures for good measure.


  1. great job!! I love learning from others..if we don't share our experiences, we don't learn and if we don't learn, we are ineffective for sure!! hugs and see you soon!!

    Pam <3<3<3

  2. I will say that my "Sweet Pea" is certainly more thoughtful. It also makes ME be more careful about what I say to her, lest it becomes tomorrow's "blog."

  3. Shelley, I found that I look at things differently after taking several pastels classes. I still cannot seem to get the thought on the paper with the "damned" crayons, but it's made me look at the world with better eyes. I love the way you paint with words-you have a great eye.