"Writers live twice. They go along with their regular life, are as fast as anyone in the grocery store, crossing the street, getting dressed for work in the morning. But, there's another part of them that...lives everything a second time. That sits down and sees their life again and goes over it. Looks at the texture and the details." -- Natalie Goldberg
I have the rare gift today of a full day to myself -- no grandchildren to tend, no husband at home, no commitments -- and I find myself torn between the garden and my blog. And, here I am, at the computer, writing away part of this lovely morning, but it is something I MUST do. I am a writer at heart; from early childhood I have realized this need to ponder the world around me and my own life, and somehow put my thoughts into words.
A degree of solitude for quiet introspection is necessary to a writer, so my writing was done in "fits and starts" through the years of child-rearing and part-time work. I have notebooks filled with sporadic entries as I wove bits of quiet time into my hectic life -- trying somehow to capture the pivotal moments as well as the ordinary days.
In the autumn of 2001, as I dealt with the devastating emotions of the September 11 attack in NYC and the death of my mother earlier in the year, I finally decided to buy a real journal and begin to regularly chronicle my life. Little did I know how I would come to look forward to these daily journal entries, in the gentle quiet of midnight, or the peaceful solitude of sunrise. Now twelve years of journals fill an old trunk in my bedroom. How I love the feel of my pen slipping across the pages of these beautiful journals. I cherish these moments when I can sift through the events and emotions of my day and somehow order them into words.
In 2007, on a whim, I decided to create this blog, Ponderings and More. My life is complicated and busy, as I care for my grandchildren during the day, so my blog entries are sporadic and less frequent than those of most bloggers. I do so love the moments when time, emotion, thoughts, and words come together and I have this lovely little blog in which to write the words down. I have come to realize -- much as the quote above illustrates -- that a writer does indeed live life twice. Often, even as I participate in life events, my mind is already sifting through my thoughts and forming the words to hold these moments forever in time.
A writer NEEDS to write. Sometimes the words are coming together so quickly in my head that I desperately want to write them down, but it is the wrong place and the wrong time. Often at these moments, my grandson will look at me and say, "Grammy are you daydreaming again?" And I look into his face, bringing my thoughts back to the moment at hand, and say, "Yes, I'm daydreaming." And, that is what writers do.
How I love reading through my old blog posts and journal entries. As we hurry through the days of our lives, we forget so much -- the little details get lost and only half-memories are summoned by a song or a smell. My journals contain the details -- those details that spoke to me at the time -- and I can relive the memories. I particularly love a journal I kept in the year when both of my sons were being married. The bridal showers, the flowers, the rehearsal dinners, the weddings -- all the lovely details are captured there for me to savor at will. I keep a journal for each of my grandchildren, and enjoy remembering them as they were; they are growing so fast and changing so rapidly. As I look back through the pages I have written, I realize that this need to write is a vital force that provides an emotional outlet to the writer. How fortunate we are to be able to perceive the precious moments of life and record them for ourselves and eternity.