Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Writing Practice

Every weekday morning I get up early to spend some always appreciated "me time" with myself and a little time with God.  I kick myself out of bed and into my gym clothes.  Come downstairs where my coffee is waiting, pour a cup and pull out my bag of projects.  I read a bit of my Bible, a short devotion, spend a little time praying and then get down to writing.  My writing practice sessions come from a book I'd found in the library in Kansas City when I lived there.  It has prompts for every day writing practice.  The idea is that you find the date, write the prompt at the top of a page and then just start writing for however long you planned to write.  For me, I try to get in a page every day.  The prompts are sometimes simple ("Write about the moon") and sometimes are things I just don't get ("Write of something done in a small moment" huh?).  But I give it my best 4am effort.  Sometimes it's great.  Sometimes it's awful.  Whatever the case, it's always finished.

I like to use them to write down memories I don't want to forget.  The little things my kids do.  The early days of my marriage that were so completely different than life now.  The things I think in the middle of the night when I can't sleep.  Thinking through opinions I have that I wouldn't discuss in mixed company.  The sad memories.  The painful memories.  The ones that have shaped me into who I am.  The mistakes I've made.  The successes I've enjoyed.  The near misses and missed opportunities.

I write them down so I won't forget.  So I can look back to fifteen or twenty years ago--peeking through a hole in the wall at something I can only remember through the lens of my younger self and see it now from a different angle.  So many things make sense to me now that didn't then.  The reasons for the pain and sorrow.  What it must have meant to someone else who'd made a sacrifice for me.

The adult insight into my child's mind sometimes provides clarity and understanding.  Sometimes it just makes me angry and renews a sense of hatred for that moment in my history.  But I am glad for the memories.  I am glad that I can point to the things that have built me, one piece at a time.  Despite some of the more difficult pieces, I rather like who I've become.

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