I’ve thought a lot the past few years about how my thoughts create my reality.
I know. It’s all a little “woo woo.” But it’s true.
After slamming my head into the sidewalk two weeks ago during a run, I’ve spent time recovering with a bruised, scraped, and sore face. It seems every little thing reminds me of how much I hurt. A wire clothes hanger fell out of my closet and hit me in the forehead. Usually it’s not such a big deal, but this week? OUCH. And then there’s the pretty color of my face–a greenish yellow, a pukish color that has remained after the black and blue.
But I would have been ok with that incident. After all, it could have been so much worse.
Then, my right hand, the one with the arthritis in the thumb basal joint, started acting up. It seems I may have carpal tunnel, too. Even trying to unload the dishwasher made me wince.
So I’ve been grumpy. Really grumpy. And taking it out on everyone.
Yesterday, I realized I can let myself be so overcome by the darkness that I fail to see the light–my wonderful writing groups, the progress I’m making on my memoir, good friends and family, and a fabulous place to hang out during the day.
As George Harrison once said, it’s all in the mind. Here comes the sun…..
When I picked my word of the year, I had no idea I might be “couched” by snow days and freezing weather. We’ve had our share of cold this winter. Between that and clunking my head on a run last week, I’ve spent much time alone lately.
But all this fits right into my plan. Solitude gives me time to think and work. The warm fire doesn’t hurt either.
I miss Beau, my golden retriever, who used to sit by my side. Nero, our cat, does his best. But, well, you know cats.
They tend to have minds of their own.
Writing about yourself ought to be easy, right?
Our first class with Steve Watkins filled me with ideas, and I couldn’t wait to get started. He asked us to turn in 5-7 pages by Sunday night. No problem, I thought.
First, I wrote about a memory I had at age 4 when I cut off all my sister’s hair. A couple of paragraphs in, I stopped abruptly. Nothing left to tell. Next I tried to write about an incident when we were 15 and 17. Many more details came to mind, but I wasn’t sure why I was writing it. The details were there but the reflection was not. I tried to write about my summers in RI, my travels as an Army brat, and my first days alone in Virginia. Nothing.
Finally Friday night around 10pm, I began to journal. And the topic came to me like a Rhode Island beach wave. My dad’s death. This was the one topic I didn’t want to write about. This is not because I didn’t want to share. No, I feel like I’ve written about it so much in poetry and blog posts, I wanted to tackle something new.
But there it was, so I wrote.
I’m looking forward to hearing what Steve has to say about everyone’s work. But I’m already thinking about next week’s piece. Hmmm, anxiety may be showing its ugly face.
I understand “white space” in design. But I’d never thought about white space in my life until I read Sarah Selecky’s post today. She says:
In a short story, a white space is placed between scenes to signal a moment of reflection. It’s there to give you a moment to digest the scene that just finished, and it often makes that last sentence before the space ring out with effect. You can linger there as long as you like to make some sense of what you just read.
The white space lets you linger so you can experience what just happened.
White space is a perfect partner for my one word, solitude.