It is such a gift for me to be able to write for you on County Road 21. Having a venue to do what I think I am here to do means a lot to me. So first and foremost, thanks for reading. Thanks for the encouraging notes and for sharing your thoughts and experiences with me, both on the blog and by e-mail. To anyone who has ever seen something they liked and shared the link with others, or recommended the blog to a friend, thank you. Thanks to your recommendations, readership continues to grow steadily and has more than tripled from where it was six months ago.
Since beginning, I have tried to post five days a week, more or less. Heading into summer, I am experimenting with a change, and a move to posting three times a week. This is influenced by a couple of things. First, it is surprisingly hard to maintain sustained writing time when kids are out of school. The ability to think is reduced even further. I am also finding it hard some weeks to maintain the schedule I initially set for myself, just in terms of creative energy. I chose five days a week because I not so secretly still wish the world was all newspapers and magazines. Five days a week let me pretend I had my own column and was writing for a newspaper. When I didn’t feel like writing, I would picture my editor on the phone with a cigar dangling out of his mouth telling me it didn’t matter that I had nothing to say, the column was going to print in an hour.
I haven’t fired my imaginary editor (although Frank definitely lets me down on the proof reading some days) but I’ve decided (not without some anxiety) to take a chance on letting him fire me. I may increase the posting schedule again in the fall, or I may not. For now, I’m cutting it back to three, occasionally two posts a week, to give a little breathing space to my imagination and to make room for other things.
The last reason for the change is that every once in a while I think a piece deserves more than a day to sit there. It bothered me today to rush in and cover up yesterday’s Pentecost piece so quickly, but I hadn’t shared my thoughts yet, so didn’t feel I could. (Frank said it was unconscionable to break an established pattern without explanation.)
Thank you again for your support and readership. Please know that I pray for all of you. En masse, because I don’t know everyone, and by name when I know of a specific reason to, or just because you come to mind. I remain grateful for the gift you give me when you take your valuable time to read and when you return by choice to my simple attempts at true and beautiful.
With much gratitude,
I am driving. Girl two occasionally claps, or adds, “go, go, go,” but for the purposes of the story she is mostly a bystander. Boy two is in the far back of the caravan, girl one is in the seat ahead of him.
Boy two: Ok, do you see the little stick guys on the side?
Girl one: Yeah
Boy two: Ok, I want you to click on them. Now see the thing that says music and click on it. Now set it for Star Wars theme.
Girl one: You’re going too fast. Just a minute. Ahhh! This stupid thing. Ok, ok, now I’ve got it.
Boy two: Alright. So go back out to where the stick guys were. Go over right to the side. See the one guy there?
Girl one: Click on him?
Boy two: Yeah, Click on him. Now, go to settings and look for the Phil file. I think it’s called something like Phil file 3552. For some reason they didn’t do any numbers one to ten or something, I don’t know. It’s crazy. Are you there yet?
Girl one: They’re going crazy. They’re everywhere. Oh my gosh, everyone’s running around like crazy people.
Boy two: Chase that guy on the right. Once you get him, you’ll see what happens. Right there. Now! See it. Now quick, grab that stick on the ground.
Time elapses. I drive.
Girl one: That was awesome.
Boy two: Yeah, let’s put it away now.
Girl one: Yeah, first I just have to save it. What should I call it?
Boy two: Call it, “Phil 542. . .”
Girl one: Just a minute, it’s not working. This things takes forever to save. There it goes. . .
Girl two: When is it going to be my turn?
Girl one: Next time. We’re putting it away now.
1. For the entire conversation, girl one was holding a rectangular 2×3 inch mirror in her hand.
Seriously, where are the scientists when the really good stuff is happening?
I am in a small state of creative depletion. Two reasons. My daughter asked me to write her a book two years ago. It will someday be a gift for all of them. I had hoped to send it to a friend to peruse for the beginning of December. Then I hoped for January 1. Currently, I am a third of the way through my latest round of “final,” revisions. On good days, I knock off another 15 pages. It is a bit maddening. At times I am in tears that I am still not able to offer this gift. Other days, I think that since I don’t end up really running my life anyway, the completion of the book can rest where it belongs, in hands not my own. Lately, I am leaned considerably more towards the former sentiment (tears) and a little further from the latter one of peace, so I have put a self-imposed burn on and am trying desperately to get through this next stage.
(No doubt my need to finish the book is influenced at least in part by the suggestion of a friend that I begin preparing another book . . . one that I would very much love to write. I can’t in good conscience start that book while the latest copy of hacked up corrections sits on my porch waiting for me to finish entering them all.)
For the 38,000th time in my life, I call for Jeffrey. If Jeffrey would only come, I would speak the corrections to him as he typed madly, or better yet, hand him the sheaf and let him come to me when he couldn’t figure the arrows and notes. Jeffrey is my servant and has been so for years. His talents are many. His only shortcoming is his refusal to materialize from my imagination into a real, live, working assister to my needs.
The truth is, the book gives back at least as much creative energy as it takes away. It’s more the allocation of the time. The real creative depletion comes from making such big decisions recently. I don’t know if this is a common human ailment. For me, it is real. I can study things objectively, engage situations that pose conflict, and make decision not everyone will understand. But when it’s all over, I’m finished. All the considered risk taking, all the change . . . it takes it out of me. I need recovery time.
Last week, we decided to move the three youngest kids to a new school. It was a good decision. I’ll write more later. All the meetings and questions and more conversations have taken just about all the energy I have. I would like Jeffery to come now. Make breakfast. Eggs Benedict perhaps. Give the house a once over. While he’s at it, use the magical dead mouse sounder to find the decomposing bodies in the wall. Then use the carcass vaporizer to remove them. Thank you, Jeffery. That will be all for now.