The month of November is skittering past so quickly I dare not close my eyes.
I remembered to place the turkey in the refrigerator, reclaimed from the depths of the freezer where he has rested for a year. I bought two turkeys last year, planning to have a Thanksgiving feast revisited in February as part of my birthday celebration, but never quite had the energy to follow through. So this November I did not have to lug the 25 pound frozen block of fowl home from the grocery store. The picture created doesn’t sound too appetizing, does it? Sorry. I adore turkey, and although I have given up meat, I most certainly will indulge next Thursday. Everything in moderation.
Speaking of variety at the table, today is a buffet, full of a range of topics. Because I have pared down to writing once a week, it must be so. I first would like to share a photograph from my childhood that was just given to me by my aunt, whom I had not seen in some time. I have to back up and tell a bit of a story. Many years ago, there was a misunderstanding, and a group of siblings grew apart, never to speak again. These siblings had children, and the children grew to be adults. The children were not privy to the finer points of the misunderstanding, and actually didn’t give a rip. One of those children came all the way around the world, back home, for medical treatment. She spent time with me, with the aunt and her children with whom she was staying, and she communicated with my brother and sister. Then she began tracking down all of the other children of our generation. The cousins. There are fourteen of us, plus spouses, children and significant others! We all either had or acquired a Facebook page, and then created a group page: The Clan. We have been talking, posting photos, comparing life experience, for the past couple months.
There have been a few small meetings. We have found ourselves able to sit for hours and hours and hours and talk and not run out of things to talk about, and without the discomfort of being with someone new. In two weeks there will be a grand gathering of nine of us. The rest of the group lives on opposite shores of this wide country.
I am so looking forward to this gathering. We have been madly scribbling back and forth,
“What are you bringing to eat?”
“Do you want me to bring a game?”
“Are you allergic to dogs?”
It turns out that half of the group are sci fi fantasy aficionados, and someone suggested we have a marathon watching of the complete trilogy of Lord of the Rings. Half of us are game players, half are not, most of us love to read, many of us are creative, we all love animals, and we all like to eat!
Back to the photograph. We all have photos of us together in different groupings at various functions, when we were little – before the great divide. My aunt gave me a set of photos of myself. This is my favorite, of which I still have a vague recollection, because I loved that first pair of cowboy boots. I have owned some form of cowboy boots ever since this first pair. For a time, I even had the horse that went with the boots.
Next up on the buffet, Becca’s question for Write on Wednesday.
So tell me, what are the areas closest to your heart? What aspects of your life in general do you find yourself sharing in writing? Do you enjoy reading/writing personal essays?
Looking back on my blog, I find I have shifted from writing book reviews to including some posts that are more personal. Are they essays? Maybe. In many respects, I am a very private person, so when I write about something in my life, I find myself depicting a thin sliver of my reality.
Becca quoted Julie Cameron in her post on The Essay,
Writing is an act of self-cherishing. We often write most deeply and happily on those areas closest to our heart.
I came to the ability of self-cherishing at a point well into my life. I remember what it was like to not cherish myself, so now I find this ability quite special. I am very much aware of it at all times. I am grateful for this, and while I had a lot of help and support getting here, I give myself a lot of credit. I think a part of what I write in these essays that are all elbows and knees, is about my awareness and celebration of self-cherishment.
Another thought on essay writing was shared on The Task at Hand in her post Speaking My Heart – Writing, Vision and Truth,
To put it simply, writing satisfying essays requires clarity of vision – an ability and willingness to see the world as it is, and not as we wish it to be.
That says it perfectly, I think. I am not always successful, but I do try to practice the clarity of vision when I write about personal things.
Instead of sticking to Nanowrimo the past week, I have managed to distract myself in spare minutes with my usual wanderings around the internet. It is a marvelous wealth of information and entertainment at our fingertips, is it not? I came upon a writer named Patti Digh, and her book, Life is a Verb. She writes about the six practices of intentional living: “Say Yes, Be Generous, Speak Up, Love More, Trust Yourself, and Slow Down.” This could be a perfect, first thing in the morning, mantra, don’t you think?
On a more international note, I do not remember where I came upon this video, but I did follow it to its source, Playing for Change.
and found a wonderful concept and a soon to be released film.
It speaks for itself about the power of music and the oneness of humankind.
And lastly, I promise, on a national note, I think this photograph says a lot about the man and his courage, and how alone you, are in many respects, at the top.
I hope you have a wonderful week with a lovely Thanksgiving, and I hope it snows (when you are not on the road)!