Writing at the End of Time

shari_post_galaxyI, the writer, engage in both boringly ordinary and sublimely spectacular moments. Same as those who don’t write. I work for financial compensation and volunteer on behalf of others. I hose down the house and muck up the garden, maintain my aged mode of transportation and renovate our humble abode, bungee jump off bridges and plunge into new experiences, practice a new language and exercise my health routine, spelunk into caverns and hike mountain peaks, sip aged wine and taste new olive oil, celebrate with family and tolerate acquaintances, curse and pray. Same as everybody, I live. (OK, maybe I’ve never bungee jumped off anything, but I’ve hopped off curbs. As for my health routine, well, I routinely think about it.)

After all that living, I, the writer, scratch my brain, crank my imagination, and extend my fingers to write. My daily life shows up in the funhouse mirror of stories. Annoying challenges reflect in the bizarre twists of fantasies. Nagging questions appear as labyrinthine mysteries. How I function in the here and now influences the exceptional world crafted by my pen, bidden by my mind. (And I always say it’s all entirely made up. Well then there’s the bungee jumping…)

I, the writer, make time. Like some nebula nursery gathering clouds of dust and gas to become new stars, I birth time to write. Stolen from housework or bill paying, filched from shopping or TV watching, borrowed from sleep, I make time each day to write. The books I read, those I write, my own blogs, and blogs of other writers get my attention on a regular basis because I make time to participate in the writing world. Whatever the debate about who may call themselves a writer or a wanna be, no one who doesn’t write can claim they do.

Writing is what I do for myself, my indulgence and my passion. It’s the raw nerve that jolts at the touch of a dandelion seed floating past my brow. I write about how that feels so you can experience it without the bruise from the fluff. (See what I take for you, dear Reader?) Writing lets me fulfill my childhood potential, kindling the blaze of glory that the young Sharon Lynne Bonin promised one day to become. Writing reminds me that, bedraggled as I am, I still have the chops to produce something of merit in my life, a legacy to leave my kids, and a story for others to savor. This is true because I live as well as write. I experience as well as observe, act and imagine.

Sometimes life catches up and runs roughshod over my plans. (Best laid plans of mice and men, and all that. Thank you, Robert Burns. I am certainly the wee beastie in a panic as the plow roars my way.) Snuffs opportunities. Routs the resources. Demands more of my percentages than I’ve ever had to post in that imploding red column. So when all that living converged in one big ball of everything happening all at once last month, I found myself as lost as if I’d been swallowed by a black hole. The swirling galaxy wasn’t all bad; it was just logjammed. Star jammed! New family member (adorable and brilliant grandchild,) new job (much good fortune,) more responsibilities (a chance to grow), old obligations resurfacing (blegh)! How the hell do I find time – make time – to write when I can barely find time to eat and sleep? (Of course the sleeping has been much curtailed; the eating – not so much.) Sometimes the only thing I can do is exactly what I did this past month. I ground everything that I normally do to a complete halt and dealt with my new world order. I took off a month of writing because it was the only flexible time I had.

Starting back up has been more difficult than I imagined. I’m trying to build a relationship with an infant who lives 1000 miles away and maintain the relationship with his parents. Over 600 emails throb in boldface in my inbox, most of them blog posts from other writers, and I’ll eventually read all. I’m less prepared for the new job than I expected but excited to grow into it, and hope my employers will be patient while I learn what I should know. I’ve missed a month of articles I should have written for my personal blog and worry that my followers, feeling abandoned, have abandoned me. Three books each need another revision, and I need lots of time for this before I can begin the process that will see them to publication.

Welcome to my expanding solar system. Please hang tight while I figure out the orbital coordinates. Hello old world, hello new.

Be well, friends.