Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Writing it down

I do my best blog writing between the hours of midnight and 1:00 am when I can't sleep.
The words come together beautifully too.
The whole post from beginning to end reads like a professional wrote it.
At least in my mind it does.
Probably my worst habit is telling myself - I'll remember this in the morning.
Cuz I don't. Or won't. Remember that is.
Why don't I write this shit down?! I ask myself.
Dammit! That was a really good one too!
I've got no excuse. Other than being 51 and 3/4 years old.
And my powers of retention are gone.
I don't remember what I have had for lunch most days.

Ann Voskamp keeps an open notebook/journal on the kitchen counter.
In it she writes down all the things she's grateful for all day long.
In her book One Thousand Gifts she tells the story of her life being changed
by simply giving thanks to God for everything.
I do this too...I have for years, ever since I read her book.
But I don't leave the book open and flat on the counter.
Maybe I should start doing that.
Or at least leave a notebook and pen by the bedside,
So I can jot down thoughts, ideas or entire blog posts that I want to remember.

See, the thing is, I feel better when I write all this shit down.
Once it's on paper or on the blog, even if (when) I forget about it
I can go back and read it or reread it over and over again.

Sometimes I wow myself with what I have written in my journal.
I see a different person there in those words.
Someone capable, endearing, honest, hurting, real.

So, in the spirit of honesty, I'd like to say that my name isn't Lolly.
Sort of.
Lolly is the nickname my dad gave to me. I have no idea why.
Mom says when I was little I would tell him to stop calling me that.
I'd holler at him that "my name's not Lolly" or I wouldn't respond at all.
I'd give almost anything to hear him call me that again.
He died 18 years ago. Gosh I miss him!

My name is Valerie. And I am capable, endearing, honest, hurting and real.
I started blogging because I realized I had a need to write shit down.
I needed to write it down to process it. To feel it. To deal with it. To get it out.

I feel better when I write it out. And I'm tired of not being real.
I'm tired of writing what I consider to be cotton candy posts.
From now on I want it to be gritty, real, in your face stuff.
Stuff that I think we all deal with, stuff that we are all facing.
Or rather, stuff that I need to deal with and face.
I want to be brave when I do it.
And I'm asking you to help me be that big brave girl I know I can be.
I'm not asking for criticism and I certainly don't want to feel shame.
Can I ask you to bear with me as I bare all?
Well maybe not all really, but at least some of the stuff.
Would you be kind as I write my way through this?
Will you be understanding if my views are not the same as yours?
Will you forgive me if I go back to the cotton candy fluff stories-
Especially when it gets too hard and I want or need to back out?
Would you promise not to laugh at me, only with me?
Will you help me when I get stuck? Or help me to become unstuck?
Am I asking for too much? Am I asking too many questions?

I'm not computer or blog savvy.
In fact I'd like to change stuff about my blog page and I don't know how.
I'm afraid I'll lose some of my stuff on here if I make any changes.
So here's what I'm gonna do...I'll just go slowly.
I'll take my time with revamping the blog and with the writing and telling all.
You guys are ok with that, right?
I'll take my time so I get it right, so long as I get to write.
Wish me luck readers.
And as always thanks for reading.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


I don't write well or often.
Feels like I don't have much to say.
I find myself reading other blogs
and feeling as if a prayer has been answered
a prayer I hadn't known I was praying for.

I'm ok with the quietness over here
most of the time.
Just when I think I can't stand it a minute longer
I get a reply on my blog and it keeps me motivated..
to keep hen pecking at this key board of mine..
plucking out one sentence at a time.

Most days I have a running dialog in my head
of things that I should write down but often don't,
cuz I think I will remember later, but won't.

I listen to the absolute quiet in the house.
No grandkids coming today.
Dogs are sleeping.
Even the appliances are quiet.
The AC kicks on and it startles me...
How long have I've been sitting here
musing about the silence?

Pretty soon school will be in session.
Buses, cars, kids all making their presence known
as they pass by my house on their way to school.

Will I welcome the noise?
Will it put me at ease to hear the signs of life
infiltrating our quiet summer neighborhood?

I live three doors down from a christian high school.
One block further down is the public grade school.
A block past that is the public high school.
A block in the opposite direction leads to a preschool.

So, maybe now you understand why it is that I notice
the lack of noise and absolute stillness of my neighborhood.

I'm not used to it.
9 months outta the year I've got noise and activity swirling
in and around and through my yard and neighborhood.

Maybe August is trying to remind me that it's time is almost up.
School starts here in a week and a half.
The college kids are starting to pack up and move out.
My nephew will be leaving soon for Illinois State.
My grandson will start attending preschool 3 days a week.

The noise and the sounds will be returning to normal
and I wonder if it will make me feel better to
hear life and cars and buses pass by my window.

It's not that I feel unwell. I'm not even sad.
I just notice the stillness and the quiet.
When I look out my window, glancing up and down the street
I see no one. No walkers or bike riders.
No kids, no teenagers. No one.

I should be thankful for the quiet.
It has allowed me to scratch out this post.
Not that I've said much here worth writing about.
But, Hey! Thanks for reading anyway.

I'll catch up with you in September!

Here's a little something from Frederick Buechner...I think it fits perfectly-

Quote of the Day: Quiet
An empty room is silent. A room where people are not speaking or moving is quiet. Silence is a given, quiet a gift. Silence is the absence of sound and quiet the stilling of sound. Silence can't be anything but silent. Quiet chooses to be silent. It holds its breath to listen. It waits and is still.
"In returning and rest you shall be saved," says God through the prophet Isaiah, "in quietness and confidence shall be your strength" (Isaiah 30:15). They are all parts of each other. We return to our deep strength and to the confidence that lies beneath all our misgiving. The quiet there, the rest, is beyond the reach of the world to disturb. It is how being saved sounds.
~originally published in Whistling in the Dark and later in Beyond Words