Friday, November 7, 2008

November Gratitude, part trois

I'm making this so difficult in my head. Each day I think all day, "What can I write that will be different? What can I say in my gratitude post that will set me apart?"

"Why do I care so much?" is what I'm thinking today.

It shouldn't be hard to come up with something I'm grateful for. I have a billion objects, people, blessings, lessons at my disposal to put into an entry. Yay for me! I have a sewing machine and a blender. Hallelujah, my cats didn't throw up on my carpet today. Why am I making this so hard on myself?

I guess it's because of the writing. I want to write stuff that is good. Well-written. Thoughtful. Meaningful. But how often does that happen? There are so many writers out there that I envy; many with novels to their credit, many without. I read their blogs and their books and wish I had a voice like theirs.

But today, despite my misgivings, I'm going to write about, well, writing. And how grateful I am for it.

My dear friend Janna once told me I wrote really good letters. She would probably never remember giving such a compliment, but I remember it. A teacher in college once wrote, on the back page a paper I wrote that should have been full of analysis but wasn't, that "there isn't a lot of analysis here regarding folklore, but you write really well." I can barely remember what the paper was about, but I remember the compliment.

(Insert Becky-snark voice here, thinking that this post is sounding like a big ego trip. Not my intention!!)

But I love to write. I love the process of thinking something and being able to translate it into words that others can read. I love the process of putting events and moments and thoughts down so that one day, my children or grandchildren might know me a little better, that my voice might not die altogether when I die.

I remember my sister Amy telling me about an event after our Grandma Elsie died. For months after her death, my parent's basement was full of boxes from her home. Now, Grandma was a reader. She loved books, and especially books about cats. Many boxes were filled with these books, and Amy spent hours going through them with one intent: that one of the books would not be filled with mysteries of a feline nature, but an actual journal filled with Grandma's words. Her search was in vain. No journal was found to give voice to Grandma's life.

I don't want my life to end that way. So I write. And I know it isn't all amazing and noteworthy and all that, but it is my voice and hopefully it will mean something to someone later on.

I write. And I'm grateful for it.


Stephanie said...

I agree with you whole-heartedly: the written word is something to be treasured (especially when it's beautiful, descriptive, poetic, etc.) I honestly wish I could put things into words in such a way that others would appreciate-- but I don't think I have that talent (or else I haven't cultivated it yet!) I love that you love to write and to read. It is truly a gift you have-- so enjoy! And I love your November Gratitude posts. It's crazy-- but I remember them from last year. (Has it really been a full year?)

Melanie said...

We're grateful that you write, too! :)

Ginger said...

I envy YOUR writing. :) So funny your grandma loved books about cats. I wonder how entertaining that would be. The other day I deleted a post that came of ego-ish but wasn't supposed to be but yours isn't at all. My mom thinks blogging is dumb but I told her that it has really helped me because I am often taking time to write down positive experiences and I think it is great that you would do that here.