Do Something Worth Writing

write or do

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing
~ Benjamin Franklin

It’s summertime. I could lie to you and tell you that I’m writing up a storm, but I’m not. I am off doing stuff; fishing, camping, swimming, etc. I am making memories and bonding with my children while they are still excited to spend time with me. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

If I am lucky, perhaps a story or two will come of our road trips, long summer nights, giggles with friends and family by fireside, or the quiet moments when we just lose ourselves in a book. That’s what I’m hoping, but I am perfectly content with just going with the flow. I keep up with client work and jot down a few lines here and there when I can, but some days it is just more important to do. Stories are born out of experience and that is what summer is for me.

So I take in theatre, attend summer festivals, and plan beach days for the hottest days of the week. But sitting in front of the computer and writing just doesn’t hold much appeal when life is outside my door.

After I am done ‘doing’, I will write the stories that come…

See you in September!

Foggy Morning

foggy morning

There are some days when the writing needs to wait. My mood may not be right, my children might be sick, a client could need to speak to me; whatever it is, the actual act of sitting down to the computer is temporarily put on hold.

This morning it was the fog. Thick, soupy, cloying; it matched my thoughts. And I had to disappear into the recesses of its curtains, if only to feel the touch of something on my skin.

These moments, this indulgence, it returns me to nature and redeems my soul. I step away from the everyday and quietly become one with a higher vibration. I don’t need to think in terms of SEO, re-tweetability, audience interest, or the likelihood of something being liked or shared. All I have to do is listen to the twitter of (real) birds, or the trickle of a stream. I can reach out to touch damp bark or smell the heady scent of moldering leaves trapped under rock-strewn paths. My senses come alive in the twilight edges of real life, far away from keyboards, cell phones, ping backs, and time.

But as the fog burns off, I return. There are emails to respond to, updates to post, and pics to share. The mist thins, but so too does the pall that clung to my soul. Funny how breathing in a little cool air refreshes an outlook. It works every time.

Holding a Hand

I spend far too much time on the computer. I search for images, articles and interesting tidbits to share. I do my best to step away from the world of social media when I can, but get tempted by the ping of status updates, new emails, and the lowly lure of my turn on one of the many online games I play (geek status with my faves being Scrabble and Word Crack – bring on more words!).

But the last week I have been distracted from writing, sharing, and caring about that world. My Grandmother is ill and my family has had to step up on caregiving duty. The challenge is that she lives about 1 1/2 hours from me. My sister lives about 1 1/2 hours from her in the other direction. My grandmother has three daughters, but one lives in BC, the other is in Florida, and the third is closer to home, but set to leave on a trip in a few day’s time. We have taken turns sitting at her bedside, but as of next week burden of care will be shared between my sister and I til she returns. And there is nothing I can do about that, but be thankful that I can.

It’s not the first time I have had to deal with serious illness. My husband was sick with cancer for 2 1/2 years before he passed away. I was on constant vigil then, plus had two children under 3 when he died. This time is different, but brings back hard memories of those difficult days. And as much as my grandmother is 94, has dementia, and has had a long and full life, it’s still hard to sit beside someone wondering how many breaths are left to them. Each rattling gasp could be the last. Or could give her the strength to open her eyes for one more day, week, month or year. There are some people who survive well into their 100s. Will she be one of them? Or will I be making arrangements with the funeral home within the week?

When I sat by my grandmother’s bedside in hospital a week ago, I held her thin, gray hand. Her eyes occasionally fluttered, but consciousness was fleeting at best. The ding of her IV when her tubing got pinched shot me back almost 9 years to when an alarm sent my husband over the edge and I lost what little was left of him. It is not pretty. But it is a part of life. This is death. Rather the hard process of dying. There are no rules, timelines or guides to help you plan your life around. It is one day at a time and there is nothing you can do about that, but wait to see what tomorrow brings. And today, I needed to talk about it.

I love my grandmother and wish her only the best. At present, I wonder what the best is. Should she let go her tentative hold on this universe to move on to the next? Do I beg her to stay to satisfy my greedy need of holding her lifeless hand once more? The choice is hers. I have told her that in whispered tones, as silent tears trickled down my cheeks. I wish her no more pain. Her better self will always live in my memories of baking bread, walks on pebble-littered beaches, and fishing in the wide-open expanse of the ocean. She will always be the baker of the best cookies, the one that kept her household running, and a soul who loved me generously and for always.

This post has nothing to do with grammar, writing, social media, or business. It has everything to do with life and allowing it to touch us, hold us, and carry us forward to tomorrow. My grandmother might not be here for much longer, but I will sit by her bedside holding her hand as long as I can. And when her hand is gone, she will own her place in my memory forever more with love.

Love you Grammy