not much to say
not much to say
That’s how it begins most days. Should I write? I think how useless it is to write about the day – wake up, internet, eat, shower, work, eat some more, open mail, move around, fall back into bed. Why write about it?
Why write about the sound of the cat stirring in the wicker laundry basket at 4 am, the sound of the furnace beginning to wake up, the blue-black darkness of the room and my shoulder aching from lying in one position too long? Why write about that first deep breath, the yawn sending bubbles of life through my face, the pulling of blankets back up to my nose, the thought, “I’ll stay a little longer,” whispering in my head?
Why write about the cat escorting me to the bathroom each morning like a dutiful aide watching me pee? Why write about taking the stairs one by one because my knees are still sleeping, my feet still numb? Why write about the hiss of the kettle, the whiz of the coffee grinder, the dim amber light of the streetlamp through the kitchen window, the thought that it’s too early or the thought that I have that exact thought every morning?
Why write about that first sip of coffee, the one that makes me close my eyes and sigh? Why write about the dirty dishes in the sink, the orange peels still in a pile on the plate, the collection of junk mail on the countertop? Why write about the snow boots on the rug or the puffy jacket hanging on the hook or the scarf stuffed into the pocket, the one I knitted two years back? Why write about how I haven’t knitted anything else since?
Why write about the cat gone back to bed after feeding, the click of the desk-lamp that lights up a small tray of clips and a stack of bills to be paid? Why write about the snap of my lighter as I put a flame on a soy candle, the creak of the chair as I sit back for a meditation, the way I can feel the coffee ringing all the doorbells to all my mind’s committee members, each one saying, “Good morning, darling. What kind of trouble can I keep you from today?”
Those five paragraphs poured out onto the page during an Insight Writing workshop recently. The prompt was “I don’t have much to say, except…” borrowed from an essay written by Geneen Roth.
Isn’t funny? We think we have nothing to write about, and yet our lives are littered with these amazingly beautiful moments. Even the ordinary, forgettable ones.
Something changes when we make those moments extraordinary enough to write about. Something changes when we choose to remember them – the coffee, the scarf, the cat.
Why write about all that stuff?
I think because if we can write about the ordinary, if we can open ourselves to the beauty in that everyday stuff, there’s a chance we can also write about pain or loss or loneliness too. It’s all just practice for being by your own side, no matter what.
We don’t write to be good writers. We write to be better humans, closer to truth, cozy with our sometimes wrinkly reality.
And in Insight Writing, we also write because it’s a GIFT to the others in our circle. When we write and share something vulnerable, it just makes the landscape that much wider, that much more inviting for everyone else’s vulnerability too. The beauty of your regular life makes my regular life kind of beautiful too. Who knew?
We write. We give each other our words. We bow with gratitude. Simple as that.
Copyright Cynthia Berg 2018