From the beginning of me, there was writing. In the earliest years of grade school, I would make little books of stapled-together printer paper and construction paper. They’d chronicle life’s great experiences (Malerie Goes to the Zoo) or communicate love (My Mom and I), complete with illustrations. As I grew, I kept journals in speckled Mead notebooks, sifting through my concerns and crushes, through questions big (“why would a loving God let ______ happen?”) and small, though still wrenching (“does he like me?”). I studied journalism in college, and worked my way up to the EIC position on the campus newspaper, though anyone present could tell you planning a wedding took most of my focus that year… poor Solano Tempest. A few years ago, I started this blog as a new-millennium outlet for my insides. I process my feelings through writing. I often don’t fully realize what I think about something until I get it out of my head and onto paper or these days, a screen.
But I haven’t been writing. For the last couple of years, I haven’t been doing it. Some days, I hop out of bed with mind and fingers tingling, en route to the office with Things To Say, but the mental to-do list takes over and I turn around, head downstairs, and Accomplish Things instead.
I’m not cooking less. I’m not gardening less. I’m not encountering the best and worst of humanity less. I’m certainly not thinking less. But I’m not writing about any of it.
I think there’s an element of fear to the idea of letting thoughts out of my head, and of sharing them here. The last couple of years have been full of beauty and new adventures and so much love, but they’ve also held hard times, unsettling questions, an upsetting medical diagnosis, and big loss. I think I’m afraid of what will come out if I let my fingers loose on the keys. I’m afraid maybe I’ll be a little too honest. I’m afraid I’ll be honest and no one will care. I’m afraid I won’t be honest enough and all that’ll be here are some pretty good recipes. Most of all, I’m afraid (and damned tired) of being afraid so often.
I think, though, that it doesn’t matter. I need to write. It doesn’t need to be “good.” Plus, there’s this quote I often think of, by someone for whom I actually don’t care at all but who said at least one wise thing. This may be a paraphrase; I didn’t look it up: “When an opportunity comes along that scares me, I take the opportunity in order to defeat the fear.”
So I’m going to do it. I’m going to say I don’t care whether you read it, but really, I’ll be a little sad if you don’t – perhaps because of my generation’s social media-centric, verbal barf, look-at-me culture, or perhaps because I think I have Things To Say.
In the meantime, here are some photos of the food and garden life to which my gentle readers have become accustomed: