I am kicking myself for not leaving a pad and pen on the bedside bookcase. The one on the right, not the left. I had some ideas pulsing through my brain while I was trying to fall asleep. What kept me awake was the sound of residual thunder rolling across the sky. We had a monster of a storm sweep through the southern part of the state, with tornadoes, heavy rain and high winds. Not all of the region got the tornadoes; only a handful of towns. From the way the wind was whipping the trees around outside my windows, I expected to see the Wicked Witch of the West fly by with her army of flying monkeys close behind.
I love the sound of rolling thunder. It’s the aural equivilant of spreading out a blanket, with that impressive roar moving across the sky. It’s very dramatic and should be heard in the dark to get the full effect. You don’t know how the air is moving, so you don’t know when the next roll of thunder will emerge. I remember the summer storms that passed through Connecticut while visiting my grandmother. The humidity helped create amazing electrical storms that lit up the sky. We kids would start out on the front lawn, watching the lightning crawl across the sky in jagged movement. Soon, when that came too close or was too loud, we’d rush through the front door, seeking the safety of the living room.
What does a dramatic weather pattern have to do with writing? Nothing, but I should have paid more attention to my inner voice, rather than listening to thunder. I had ideas that came to me while I was settling into sleep, wonderful ideas and phrases that are now gone with no chance of returning. Those of us who choose to spread ourselves over the page are constantly looking for topics. I make the conscious choice not to journal about everything that happens to me over the course of the day. Those that do are entitled to do such. I would rather take a chance and bare myself to you. It’s difficult to do and some writers haven’t the courage to lay open their souls for all to see. For those that do, bravery has nothing to do with it. For me, at least, it’s about trying to tell a story of me. As I explained to a new blogger friend, duke1959, say your are at a party. The conversation moves around from person to person, everyone sharing anecdotes, which generate strong emotional responses. You decide to contribute your small bit and tell the story, sharing a piece of your life that is significant to you. But the reaction from the crowd is less than the reaction you expected. So much comes into play – the story was too long or short, it never grabbed the audience, or you couldn’t seem to find the right descriptive words to make your story come alive. It’s happened to all of us. We put ourselves out there in hopes of the audience gaining a better understanding of you, but it falls flat and you feel foolish.
But isn’t that the chance we should take? I have stories I want to tell but choose to use this forum to tell them. It’s possible my friends won’t find it interesting or relevant. But that’s their decision to make. They might relate to the experience to ones of their own, but this is MY stuff. By putting my words out there is a statement of identity – damn it, I’ve experienced some interesting people and seen amazing things, and it’s MINE, not yours. You can’t take that away from me (cue Ella Fitzgerald). I am the only person who has the right to judge it’s relevancy. Of course it’s relevant.
See what happens on days when I don’t have anything to write about? This stuff comes pouring out.
I have always wanted to write. I have a lifetime of stories and feelings, adventures and heartbreak, and I’ve wanted to tell them for a long time. I’ve started journals in the past – bought endless notebooks with the hopes of finding the discipline to write daily. No such luck. They were abandoned after only a few days and left my stories untold. This forum has been a fertile ground. I have written more than I’d hoped and I still have much to say. Maybe I was better suited for a keyboard instead of a good pen. I can edit much easier on the computer and my fingers can bring my words to fruition in a flowing immediate way.
I am grateful for this gift. More than you will ever know.