Monday, October 1, 2012

Why the blog? - you ask. Because we can't rewind.

Good question.  I've been thinking about my blog lately.  Last week was my first planned week off from the blog and it had me wondering.  Had me looking back over the last year, little snippets and pictures from the year's stories and reports.  Some days, as I stared out over the vast ocean expanse or heard my kids giggling and splashing in the surf or quietly paddled the back waters of the low country, I let myself wonder about the blog, the stories, the tales and the work.  I silently asked myself what I thought about this new form of communication - the blog.  I listened as my mind went to work, recalling the thanksgivings and the muses about writing and using pictures to mark my time.

I like it, I heard myself say.

I think it's important to tell my stories.  It's not that my stories are any more important than anyone else's - that's just it.   We all have to do it.  If we don't, they get lost.  And that makes me sad.  Over this year, I've begun to hear a running discourse in my head.  Usually it feels productive and mildly entertaining.  I seem to be writing the blog as I maneuver through my days.  I try out different phrases or wonder about a myriad photographs and I consider the ways to transfer an idea to my friends.  It's like my own little storybook, happening all in secret.  Maybe that makes me sound crazy.  I'm fine with that.  It gets on my nerves sometimes, too, though, and I wish my brain wouldn't keep thinking about how to show it with pictures or how to tell it with words.

But I'm beginning to believe that it is what it is.  It's my stuff, awaiting its chance to get out, to tell the world, to be heard.  We all have it - it just gets told in various ways.  For now, it seems to me the blog is working.  One of the most rewarding dividends of Press Pause  has been what you all give me back.  I've received the most awesome letters, heard your amazing tales and been swept away by your comments.  If what I write, what anyone writes, stirs something in you to tell your stories - we all win.  And little pieces of what makes up our lives get sprinkled a little farther and a little longer.  It's important.

I remembered a lot of folks this past week - thought about old friends, past co-workers, loved ones who have left this world - and it filled me with a greater sense that our telling and our listening are vital.  If the stories die when the worn out bodies do, then too many amazing things are lost.  I can recall bits of stories that my grandfathers told and I can remember that I laughed and laughed and laughed.  I don't remember the details, though, and I didn't ask enough to keep the stories alive.  I wish I had.

Hopefully, in years to come, my children will read back over some crazy lines from some plain ole' day in 2012 and get a little clearer picture of who I was when I was the forty eight year old mother of three.  Hopefully.

I think it might work.

A few years ago, my Dad was witness to a line from my son Harry that completely explains our need to know.  Dad was whistling, as they rode along in the car on a day of errands.  'Pop' is a whistler extraordinaire, and it's difficult to describe him without adding the whistle.  My son is a thinker, a wonderer, and I treasure that about him.  Harry, in the back seat, asked Pop how he first learned to whistle and Pop explained that his father, Pappy, had been a whistler and Pappy had taught him how.  Harry pondered on that for a few minutes and then came out with the wish - words I'll never forget.  "You know what, Pop?"  he said.  "Don't you sometimes wish that we could just rewind?"

You got it, kid.  I wish we could.  I wish I could rewind, with a magic button with a two left pointed triangles, just like on the dvr.  I wish I could sit Harry down with Pappy and I wish they could laugh together and tell each other stories and that Pappy could teach Harry about whistling.  I wish Pappy could tell about how he learned to whistle and about how it was when he was growing up and about his multitude of adventures, growing up poor poor and parentless from his young teens.  He could tell the awesome stories about hiding in the train cars and hiding under the hay - the ones whose details I cannot remember.

I bet Harry's big brown eyes would be wide open.  I bet he wouldn't move a muscle.  I bet he'd never be the same.  And . . . I bet after the sad stories and the tales of adventures and mischief, Harry would take Pappy out to the driveway and teach him a thing or two about how to do tricks on a pogo stick.  They'd switch stories and it would be grand.

Yeah, my sweet Bear, I do wish we could rewind.

The stories . . . the funny ones and the sad ones, the serious and the silly - we have to tell them, share them and keep wondering and listening.  We don't have a rewind button, but we can sure press pause
on little bits of times.  I figure it's when we are telling and listening, sharing and remembering, crying and laughing that we are really awake to all that's around us.  I don't want to forget those moments and I want to hear about yours, too.

We can't rewind, so let's wake up and share the good stuff while we are here.
I'm listening.

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