I didn’t write this week because it felt like I had nothing to say. Yet now, it occurs to me that maybe my words have simply been elsewhere this week.
In writing: poured into a story I’m trying to finalize; formed into some poetry submitted to a journal.
In speaking: so many conversations with my favorite little person, about books and the forest and the ocean, about pizza and birds and boxes. So many conversations with my favorite bigger people too, about home and summer and plans, about money and work and dreams.
In texting: just constant.
There isn’t a day where I don’t write something. Letters, random thoughts, the beginnings of essays, ideas for children’s books. Recently, I talked with my significant other about how I am not sure I’ll ever be a writer, and then I had to correct myself: maybe I won’t publish much, but writing is part of who I am. It’s one way that I find an understanding of the world.
Among other things, I’m reading Jami Attenberg’s memoir, I Came All This Way to Meet You. It resonates so much with me, the wandering and the experiencing and the writing. Always the writing, always the anchoring words. I love how Attenberg has put it all together, outlining her life with a vivid energy that captures adventure, angst, and the search for something that is genuinely hers.
Since I’m suddenly recommending books, I’ll detour to also say something about Julie Otsuka’s wonderful books The Buddha in the Attic and When the Emperor Was Divine. I learned about the latter when I read an article about how a school board in Wisconsin was banning it. It is an incredible book, giving a direct, heartbreaking look at the years of Japanese internment in the United States during World War II. Of course it shouldn’t be banned; of course it should be read.
I didn’t learn about that period of our history until college, though – I think – I had a good education. How unbelievably awful. I’m convinced that one of our fatal flaws as a country is the refusal to acknowledge and take responsibility for our past. Just like an individual who denies their own personal history, we can’t heal from something we won’t even reckon with. There is liberation in owning up to who we are, what we have done, and how we need to heal.
Anyway. Maybe the words for the week have also been found in reading.
In any case, there are some thoughts for this week. As always, I am better, calmer, more engaged, when I sit down and let them come. Enough for now, though. The sky is beginning to lighten, there are more cars on the street, and I’m sure the baby will soon call my name. Lucky me, to get lost in all of that.