Monday, February 21, 2011

Scribbling In the Sand

Does a life ever run out of words? Could I ever run out of things to write? Sometimes I feel like there is no ceasing. I write in my head all the time. All the time, the thoughts rush through and dance around my face and through my hair daring me to catch them. I love catching them.

I can’t stop. I can’t stop. I smile at the way my mind wanders and races and slows to ponder and weigh out a thought.

Ann’s words are sometimes too much to measure at once. I read a paragraph, a few sentences, a singular thought and my mind screams, “Stop! Don’t go on yet. Savor. Read again. Understand.”

And so I do. I take the time, much longer than it has ever taken me to read a book, and I quietly pray that God will show me everything He wants me to see. It’s so much more than just me seeing. It’s me sharing. It’s me sowing.

And the mind wanders to how they might have found me. “We found Mama sleeping in her chair, her hands stilled and pale and her writing staring back, the breeze blowing off the Gulf and all the words she had caught and arranged so carefully now floated past where we all as we stood numb.” I grimace at the morbidity and then grin at the whimsy of being an artist and with an over-active imagination.

I can’t imagine not writing any more. Odd how that is harder to imagine than not living any more.

I sit here in a little copse of palm trees while Matt and Rosie tan on a quilt a few feet away, their laughter and playful banter breezing back at volumes going up and down. A friend told me on Sunday that he loves how our family loves one another, that he wants that for his own family—to love like we love. His observation could not have blessed me more.

Tiny granules of white sand accumulate near my computer screen, and I drape my jacket a little farther over it for protection. I can’t help but be a little bit amused at the sight I must present, seated in a chaise lounge under the trees, white sand all around and waves lapping the shore a stone’s throw away, clicking away on my keyboard in dotted sunshine. My mind takes in everything as I grasp at wording it all, feeling rather pitiful in my attempts as the fronds sway above my head and the gulls yawk and screech.

“Are you writing a book, Mom?” Rosie asks me.

“I think maybe I am.” I hear myself answer. And then I think about that. Am I? Steve has been asking me to write one for years, but I always assume it’s just an extension of his love and support of me. He has always celebrated who I am.

Not long ago when he mentioned it for the thousandth time, I quipped, “Ann already wrote it.” He leveled a glare at me and I dodged his playful swat.

And then I started thinking about the writing of a book, and could I do it, and would I have anything to say that others would want to read, particularly enough to want to pay for it in book form. And then I thought about what my “message” is, my approach. What would I write about? Then I thought about how Ann wrote her book on living fully alive every moment, and thanksgiving being the basis for that full living. What do I want to say? What do I want the world to know that is uniquely mine to share?

I’ve been thinking hard about that.

Counting up to a thousand and beyond...
101. New hair growing in where the old falls out
102. Mattie putting away clean dishes
103. Reading to my daughter, then talking about current events
104. Sharing Ann's writings with people I love
105. The way Andrea thanks God for everything--EVERYTHING--all the time
106. My old trooper of a computer that is hanging tough and is getting a rebuild from good friends
107. Britt hanging out and chatting
108. My new friend Vicki @ A Wild Notion
109. The sweet white-haired angel-man who helped us unlock Luke's car in the store parking lot
110. Found the tickets!
111. Steve rubbing lotion on my feet
112. Rosie started her own 1,000 Gifts journal

113. Sharing OTG with Lindsey
114. My new book club friend Amy
115. Skyping with Trisha
116. Ellen's Chocolate Ecstasy recipe
117. Mattie will be home tomorrow for three days
118. You make all things new
119. You let us ask why
120. You write things through Ann and Bobby to show us how to distill the moments in our lives.
121. Your Word
122. My blankie
123. Awareness that everything is Yours
124. You chose me.
125. Scars that remind me of places you have healed
126. Jim and Laura
127. A peaceful heart
128. Beach with teens
129. Writing and reading in the warm sunshine on the beach in February
130. Seeing friends' faces from far away