I love the turning over of a new leaf, the beginning of a new year all full of hope and promise, the opening up of a shiny new desk calendar. It gives me pleasure to think of possibilities.
After an unplanned hiatus from this blog, I’m happy to be back with you again. Of course, as I write, my mind roams back to those moments I missed last year. Things I wish I’d written, but was too ill to get it going.
Beginnings and endings. Those are the bookmarks of our lives.
My husband always laughs at me this time of year when all the memorials start on television. A 1.5 second farewell to those of importance who, as my grandmother would say have, “Gone on to glory!” Their names below the pictures written in twirly script. At least half of the time, I’m looking at the momentary picture and crooning something like, “Dang, he died? No, not her.” Their faces flashing their last goodbyes and then on to the next thing.
It’s been a hard year. We lost our young niece, my sister’s girl who this time last year had just had a baby. She was lost to us for months before succumbing to the massive stroke she had days after bringing the baby home.
But I don’t want to dwell on the loss here because she left three beautiful boys and the memory of her smile is echoed in each of them. She was always upbeat and positive and never met one stranger. I never left Misty without feeling better about myself than when I got there.
And that is the stuff life is made of folks. The smiles and laughter in between those bookends. It’s easy to get caught up on the sharp edges of life. The ups and downs, usually signifying the beginning or end of something. Those are the moments that take our breath away. The birth of a child, a new romance, finishing your novel, the death of a parent, the loss of a job. The roller coaster we all ride.
But the truth is, we live in the middle. Each day a new book to write as we wish. So here’s to living in the middle of things. To creating something out of the everyday stuff of life.
Hell, Sylvia Plath wrote a masterful poem about having the flu. (Having just had a bout of flu myself, I can testify that high temperature and cough syrup can bring about some surreal moments!)
Have a listen to Plath’s Fever 103.
I love the lines:
Love, love, the low smokes roll/From me like Isadora’s scarves, I’m in a fright/One scarf will catch and anchor in the wheel.
I remember watching a documentary as a kid about the dancer Isodora Duncan who died when one of her famous long scarves was caught in the wheel of her car. Now, she knew how to make an exit.
So I suppose the point here is to take whatever you’re given and create something out of it. Plath took a three-day fever and created one of my favorite poems. Of course, she did stick her head in the oven a few weeks later, but I won’t take you down that rabbit hole.
But at least, she left the world something. And that’s what I’m wishing for this year and those to come. To create and leave the world something.
I’m finishing up the next novel. Working on a few short stories and will be writing about my endeavors. The last few months, I’ve pretty much been on the bookshelf getting the shit kicked out of me between those bookends of life. But today, I’m just going to take whatever comes and convert it into something. A book, a poem, a painting, a story.
I hope I can keep myself off that shelf for awhile. And maybe bring a smile to your day as I post some thoughts along the way. Damn, that sounded like a Hallmark card, didn’t it?
So cheers, y’all. Let’s get this party started!
After all, Mardi Gras is just around the corner.