Sunday, February 19, 2012

This is the view from my kitchen window:



This is my faithful companion:


This is what keeps me going:


Even the worst writing days for me have their consolations. Beauty, warmth, and nourishment. Add to that solitude. Is it any wonder we are drawn to the writing life?

Friends who wrestle with rush hour commutes, run behind schedule all day long every day, and arrive home exhausted in time to put supper on the table, get the kids off to bed, and then collapse, ask me what I find to do all day. They imagine how bored I must be, how lonely, how idle.

Not!

Ha! I get up before dawn, put the coffee on, walk and feed the dogs, check my inbox, and settle in for the day's fun. Right now I am working on two short stories. I have started a second novel. I post a blog every week and plan to start a second blog next month to record my adventures in Tanzania, just one week and one day away.


Then the 2012 A to Z Blogging Challenge is set to run through April.

I just finished reading "Crazy River" by Richard Grant, a tale of his exploration of the uncharted Malagarasi River in western Tanzania.


Now I'm into "Dead Aid" by Dambisa Moyo who describes international aid to developing countries as "an unmitigated political, economic, and humanitarian disaster." What gives her the right to judge? She is an African black woman with a PhD from Oxford. So there.


 
In contrast, I am reading "It's Kind of a Funny Story" by Ned Vizzini--"A book about depression that's not the least bit depressing," according to Teen Vogue Magazine. I love it!


How do I stay busy? I take a yoga class and go to the gym. I meet with a critique group. I have a prayer group. I keep house. I have three kids whose problems have grown up along with them.

But what I live for is the beauty, the warmth, the nourishment, and the solitude that writing requires.

"Solitude is not the absence of noise;
it's the absence of distraction."

Whether you write, or compose, or paint, or perform, what keeps you going?
*
"Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation.
 They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life;
they feed the soul.
 When writers make us shake our heads
with the exactness of their prose and their truths,
 and even make us laugh about ourselves or life,
our buoyancy is restored.
 We are given a shot at dancing with,
or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life,
instead of being squashed by it over and over again.
It's like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea.
You can't stop the raging storm,
but singing can change the hearts and spirits
of the people who are together on that ship."
--Anne Lamott--
*
Next week will be my last post until I return from Tanzania and catch up on sleep. Watch for my blog, "Cherished Illusions" later in March. More than a travel diary, it will be a reflection on the people I meet, their needs, and my aching heart.
jan

5 comments:

  1. Beautifully written. Have a great experience in Tanzania

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  2. I hope you enjoy your trip. Can't wait to read about your adventures and experiences.
    As to the "what do you find to do all day question" I usually just tell them to "wait and see".

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  3. What you have is a really full life. Love your pictures and envy your coming adventure though I don't think I would be brave enough to undertake it.

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  4. Thanks, Tina. I started your book today and I really enjoyed "Gator Meat"!

    Delores--I like the mysterious intimation in "wait and see..." Add to it a mischievous grin and wink of the eye.

    Thanks, Susan. I don't think it will be all that scary or difficult. Most of us are older folks.

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  5. Have a wonderful time in Tanzania!

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