Just because you are good at something doesn't mean it is your life's calling. It took me a lot of years to finally learn that. I'm a good writer. I have always been a good writer. Sometimes I've had brushes with great writing, but we'll stick to calling me a good writer; not because I'm humble, but because I am well-read and know perfectly well that there are hundreds, maybe thousands or even hundreds of thousands that write way better than I ever will. I'm pretty sure that the number doesn't hit the million mark, though, so I feel pretty secure with "good". Anyway, why am I writing this, then? Because, after all, I AM a writer. Writing, I like to say, is my first language. Talk to me in person and I will repeat myself. I will get ahead of myself. I will stumble and I will fail to successfully communicate sometimes. All of that happens a lot less when I write. I like writing. I like using words, letting them be all they can be instead of just the utilitarian tools they spend most of their time being.
I'm also a mother, a soon-to-be ministerial student (but also an atheist! Yay for Unitarian Universalism!), a spouse, a wise woman, a bird oracle, bisexual, deep, creative, intuitive, reasonable, rational, analytical, skeptical, a realistic optimist or optimistic realist, and probably a thousand more things, but there's my off-the-cuff me.
Ready for some poetry? Here's what I consider an example of one of my brushes with being a great writer. (Hey, I forgot to put "poet" in that list, didn't I? Oops. :))
I stare in the mirror.
Green eyes stare back through rectangular spectacles
set on a round face.
Nose slightly too large, cupid’s bow lips tilt slightly down on the left side.
Silver streaks through hair that, despite the romance novel provenance, can only be described as chestnut.
This, then, is me, aged 37, mother of two children, beloved wife of fifteen years.
Still, inside me, the Milky Way swirls in mad, beautiful spirals.
Wild horses run through green, green fields, wind whipped manes trailing.
A little girl cowers in fear, hiding behind billowing, stifling curtains.
A prancing princess, a jaded, sensual madame, a wicked witch flash by.
There is all this to me and more, like the promise of some bad commercial, but real.
The greatest gift of my childhood was being a child for elderly people.
Trembling hands and white hair and gentle, gentle touches and smiles.
I loved them, each and every one, and I was old and young at once and I always would be.
And here I am, turning the wheel of my life, shifting downward even as I work out five days a week
For the first time in my life, I understand the magic heat that suffuses a body at just the right point of exertion, where you slip outside time for a while.
Time, which has always been so fluid for me, no wonder I wear a watch,
to hold on to the fleeing moments,
to check where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be doing because my mind has too many other things to do.
How was I ever, ever bored?
Who am I? Who are youuu, asked the caterpillar, and I answer
With silence ticking in my ears
I am my father’s daughter, my mother’s challenge, my grandmother’s pet, my grandfather’s angel.
I am my husband’s world, my children’s strength, my loved one’s comfort.
I am a mad, wild, boring, safe, wicked, sensible, something or other of a thing.
There’s light in my eyes.
There’s love in my (old, old) soul.
There’s one foot in front of the other
One way or another.
I’m walking my road.
What about you?
I'm 39 now, and life knocked me off the exercise wagon, but the rest of it is still true. Welcome to this part of my journey. I hope we enjoy walking together.