Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Old Friends

My mother had friends she played bridge with, and invited for dinner, and went shopping with. They were the long-time friends that she knew well enough to confide in and share secrets with. She intended me to have friends like that, too, I think. Mostly I remember that she expected me to be kind and nice and behave well in public. My friends were often the children of her friends. She died when I was 10, so I didn't make many friends that were outside our family circle and school connections. Now I see how much those people have meant to my life. The friends you started out with stay with you, even when you grow up or move away. I value them in the memories we share, and when we meet, we still have things to talk about.

I have friends that I've only known for a brief period. Something about us clicked and we make instant contact. Maybe my mother's training in being nice and kind to others paid off. I'm not sure why but it does work. I've learned to find that quality in other people that makes me feel safe and generous and suddenly I remember them like they were one of the original special friends in my childhood. I'm not feeble minded yet, but when someone becomes a friend, they take on a different quality of closeness and camaraderie. They get filed in my mind or my heart like one of the people I knew when I was five. That I didn't know them then doesn't matter anymore. Sometimes they share a bit of history with me and it's like they just reminded me of something I always knew about them. Even if it is new and astonishing, it is seems like they just reminded me .

Having those friends I knew and loved may have set a standard in my life for loving friends. It is reassuring to know that even though I am far from home and most of my family, I can still enjoy friends and make new ones and be encouraged and and uplifted by them. Old friends are treasures worth keeping even when I just met them.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Can I Be a Writer?

I'm excited about writing again. I've never quit, but I have gotten lax and undisciplined, so now I have a new grip on the rope and writing is laid out before me like a garden ready to be planted, or perhaps ready to be harvested.

I am seeking a new formula for the discipline: to write for a specified time each day or to type a certain number of words or pages each day. A long time ago I was writing about 1000 words a day; I didn't count the words but it was an average of 4 pages at about 250 words a page. That's not as much as it sounds like, but when I've been doing some but not much and just some days, at that, it's a big freaking deal. It makes me feel like a writer again. And that doesn't mean the blogs. No, I mean pages I'll print out and edit and rewrite and shape into a story.

Yeah! I want to write fiction and serious stuff and articles and commentary. It does mean I'll have to think again. That seems to have been missing for a while, too. I may have to think and consider and reassess and reconsider. Sometimes I may have to take a stand and argue my point. I don't really like to argue, but to be the person who writes like I have described, it may happen. I'll let you know how I'm doing.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Am I Really Sick?

I went to the doctor and she told me I am sick. At least her test said I'm sick. Now I am feeling sick and I'm using that as an excuse for not engaging in activities. This may be what my mother called "enjoying poor health." I'm not really feeling pain or distress, I just don't want to do anything. On the other hand, if I really wanted to or other conditions were right, I could make some bread or fly a kite or make cookies for a grandchild. I'll just sit here in my bathrobe and reflect on life and the thought of getting better. If taking the medicine will give me a boost, it might be worth a try. Well, maybe not.

I'm not "mad" and I don't do many things that others question. I do read the Bible and poetry, and I even write it, but in my own defense, I'm not obsessed with my illness. I'm capable of using it as an escape. Some women of the 17th and 18th centuries that got the title really were crazy, but there were a few that used illness to enjoy a reclusive life. Their society allowed and even encouraged it. They didn't have to meet other people or work or dress for dinner. Emily Dickinson was a very productive poet with the restrictions her life imposed. I'm pretty sure I can't measure up to her standards, but for today maybe I'll just "enjoy poor health."