Once upon a time, I thought of writing every day. Multiple times a day I would process events, turn phrases, photograph events and then turn to the keyboard to make coherent the threads that wound tightly yet chaotically in my brain.
Over the past year, I've found myself slowly losing those words. Losing my desire to type, to articulate, to write, to sit down and reflect. I went to bed when my children went to bed, woke up when they did, and had no time in the middle for sitting at a computer except to do my freelance work. I thought of only getting through the day, getting the meals done, the laundry done, the papers graded, the daily chores.
And I thought of paint.
Painting the walls, painting the kitchen cabinets, painting the baseboards that lined the hallway. I painted trim around the doors, painted a linen closet. I'm slowly erasing the color of dark wood in our house. The cabinets are gray, the door trim and floor baseboards white. There still remains dark wood, but eventually--hopefully--the only dark wood form will be the piano, which I refuse to paint and would be horrified if someone suggested that I did.
I thought also of my sister.
She crossed the Atlantic to spend the month of August with us here on the Family Farm. I don't have enough words to explain how much I loved having her home. Love going grocery shopping with her, love going to Starbucks, to Portland, to the creek, to the living room floor for nighttime Grimm viewing. She's back in Glasgow now, with no plans to return home for a couple years. We text and send podcast-length voicemails to each other. I read her essays that she's writing for her PhD. I miss her.
I thought of two birthday parties. Sydney turned 8; Addie turned 2.
I thought of visitors and guests and parties that kept us entertained all summer long.
I thought of my classes again at school, but only at the very last possible minute because I knew once it started that it would fill an amount of my brain disproportionate to the six hours a week I actually spend teaching.
I thought of taking pictures, but not even with my trusty point-and-shoot.
Although I've been unplugged from my computer a great deal--days go by and it remains silent and dark--I've found that my iPhone allows me a small way to channel the teeny tiny amount of creativity that flickers inside. Instagramming--that newish and perhaps somewhat hipster-ish form of sharing photos--has been my creative medium of choice. I post a picture most days, and in fact have all the pictures streaming to the sidebar on the right.
Aside from that, I just didn't have the motivation to blog or be online. I didn't feel like reading books or blogs or newspapers, posted only a few updates on Facebook, pinned not even a half dozen items on Pinterest, only checked Twitter for tv spoiler alerts. After so many years of being online, I just got too tired to type.
I can't even say what so many others have said before--that they gave up blogging to connect more to their daily lives. Ironically, being offline actually keeps me less connected with life because I don't follow up with actual conversations or time spent reflecting on events of my life. When I disconnected from the online world, I didn't fill that space with other real-life connections. I filled it with sleep.
And I don't know what brings me back here tonight, back to this spot that I used to visit almost daily. I just had something extra left tonight, something I haven't had in months and months. And maybe it was my grandpa asking me yesterday if I've given up blogging, the third family member in as many months to ask when I was getting back at it. Made me remember that, in fact, some people in my family do rely on this space for news from my life.
I know I don't have time to craft the writing that I want to do, but I think I'll at least carve out small pockets to give short updates on what's happening here on the farm, in our house. It won't be exciting, and it may not even be particularly well written, but I love my family and I know this is one way I can connect with them.
So here we go, again.