20.1.11

Determined to Write....Something.


Every morning is the same, in this one regard. I think, “Tonight, I am going to write. And not just one page, but a dozen.” Sipping hot coffee and warm oatmeal, I nod to myself in silent reassurance. Driving past trafficked byways on the way to work, I look for scenes of certain inspiration. Walking beneath snow covered trees, I make up couplets about the cold.

The day goes on: work-filled hours pass slowly, broken intermittently by conversations and prayers, notes and encouragements. Email is the bane of sane existence, such that I’ve begun working “offline” to delay—if not completely deter—the constant barrage. Surfing the web splinters focus like glass on cement. I resist the urge, and chose instead of stare into the sky—which is the only thing I can see (and that in part) from the small portal of my high-placed, low profile window. Eight hours, ten notes, fifty emails, and eleven phone calls later—the workday ends.

Someone said that men only have a thousand words each day. Driving home, I check my reserves to find them totally depleted. I still desire to write, but determination has waned. Signaling cars lane change across the landscape of my eyes with more certainty and direction. Staring blankly at the red light, I resolve to give my family nothing less than what I gave to work.

Dinner talk is all the day. I stare past half drunk glasses and competing desires to meet the eyes of those who speak: my children and my spouse. Their micro-expressions—mostly those of the children—are a running narrative of emotion and experience, accentuated by emphatic verbs tied inexorably together with simple conjunctions. Amidst the tide of telling, voices compete in chorus. I drink my water to keep from drowning in the moment—that “homework driving home from playground football playing teams of mud tracks on the hallway floors as beeping watches chime far across the laughing classroom lessons that contains history unfolding lunch to teachers slight chagrin” moment. Then it’s over.

All the floors are picked up, and bedtime stories told. The hallway stretches out before me; light leads off to dark. The silence takes up much more space than all the spoke words. I am lost, for a moment. And then I find myself, there, tired. Slowly, I manage a few remaining habits of business—to brush my teeth clean of all the gnawed on thoughts, and put my shoes away. I lay my body down and think—as sleep overtakes me—that I did not write today…not many pages. Not many. Just one.

It is the best kind of writing—full of memory that will fuel joyful praise when all that’s left of life is frail breath, gentle sleep, and recollection.

Today was a page of history, written on heart and lives of children, my wife, and a too-often forgetful--but sometimes watching--world.

As for the rest: it will have to wait until tomorrow.

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