The Catapult of Writing (Or Why You Should Write Anything At All)

Posted By Tammy Hendricksmeyer on Jun 8, 2015 | 1 comment


DSC_0001 - Copy

 

I wish I could say Spring quietly slipped out like a visitor that’s too awkward for a goodbye. Instead it banged pots, tripped over furniture, and broke some china.

 

I tried to enjoy every moment. Tried to savor the soggy ground that sagged under it’s own weight. Tried to appreciate my watered (drowning) Wave Petunia’s and Roma Tomato plants. Tried to not resent the overcast darkness of drizzle and rivers in my front yard. But I came up a little short. I preferred it over the drought of 2011. But after days, weeks, months of rain, I reached a limit.

 

Blink. June. It’s here. Like, how? Before my toes squished one more slimy blade of grass, Spring left. Poof. Well, not exactly as subtle as a “poof.” In between a rare glimpse of her radiant glory, she was bossy and pushy and whiny.

 

In the room of waiting, time crawls. You pace and look at the clock. Pace. Look at the clock.  Stare at sterile walls. Notice the ugly painting. Pace.

 

But this year, time hurries along. A hasty cadence of change. I have no choice. I turn into it.

 

“Listen to your life. It will give you countless words that describe your way of being, relating, and engaging others.” To Be Told: Know Your Story, Shape Your Future by Dan B. Allender, PhD.

 

If I look back over past changes, one year I learned to move past a dark, winter of soul. Another  year, soccer “saved” my (lonely) life. I remember it more vividly because of blog posts and Facebook status’.

 

And I interrupt for a moment. We participated in soccer again this year.  My young people play with their whole heart. We work on attitudes, at being positive encouragers for teammates. Meanwhile I cheer. My  younger son told me that when I cheer, I “shout like a bird, chirping for it’s life.” Because obviously, soccer is dramatic.

 

Looking back, I noticed how all this is an offering.

 

The days flit around as if they are restless Gold Finches. I barely notice the yellow breast with only a brief visitation. I quickly admire the golden shock of color before they fly off to perch on a distant branch. Or a distant state.

 

I pause to breathe. Even now, out my dining room window, I glance at my youngest son with his Dad building a shed. I appreciate the unashamed warmth that makes your skin bead with sweat. I embrace what is coming. I gather loose ends and wonder what they’re attached too.

 

 

DSC_0345 - Copy

 

As the world spins, I go backwards. Writing does that. From this vantage point, I survey my life.

 

James Scott Bell, in his book Super Structure: The Key to Unleashing the Power of Story wrote this about fiction writing, “I like to think of Super Structure as signpost scenes or beats…..You are writing a solid, creative, well-plotted book, signpost by signpost.”

 

Life is full of signposts.

 

It doesn’t matter the medium. It can be Facebook status’, diaries, blog posts, Instagram photos, journal entries–each word is a path. They lead us to where we are living.

 

I can not see far ahead of me, if at all. But there is much behind me. Even one second ago. I glance back. I look forward. I look around. I write it down. And when I read later, maybe years later, I re-remember. I re-visit with each logged word.

 

“Interpreting your life—seeing the contours of meaning formed by what already has happened—is the first step in learning to love your life.” To Be Told: Know Your Story, Shape Your Future by Dan B. Allender, PhD.

 

Writing is a trail. Some lead home. Others lead out. Sign posts. Marker of life’s moments. Pointer of events or small wonders. A record.

 

Words give life’s moments, place.

 

Social media can be used for good in this way. For remembering our life. Otherwise, I forget how I chirped “like a bird.” I forget how soccer flushed me out, into the outdoors and how it “saved” me from being isolated. I forget the years of drought and flooding rains.

 

I forget.

 

Writing haunts. Every memory and emotion pulled from my creative history, is a ghost of something. Words can raise the past. They can resuscitate the dead. They can live despite the moment’s passing.

 

Summer comes. Why write anything at all? But we will. Somewhere we will leave a trail. And for that, we remember. We memorialize moments. We pace out our days in words (or pictures). We make Time notice the here and now, despite it’s grind. We notice.

 

Writing makes sense of life. Brings clarity. Cherishes loved ones. Calls out evil. Names a struggle. Sets free. Nails down details. Shares a burden. Gives form. Visits ghosts. And is the simple beauty of catapulting little things into signposts.

 

 

____________________

 

 



 


____________________

 

 

1 Comment

  1. much truth here. there is a writers conference called “write to publish”. at least there used to be. I write to remember first – and then to share the journey. I am gleaning inspiration these days for my memoir writing. In face, processing a lot these days about why I write, to whom to I write and why bother at all with a blog – not an easy place to be, but it’s a good place and I am glad for the emotional energy to even thing about it!

    Post a Reply

Leave a Reply