My high school English teacher (the experience with whom might actually be blog worthy in and of itself) used to emphasize that good writing is based on the show-don’t-tell rule. I actually do believe in that in theory, but when I sit down to write something that I think I might be willing to share, I forget. I just prattle on and write the way I journal…just talking about whatever is on my mind. And sometimes it’s the most mundane things, like what I’m eating (Twizzlers) or drinking (water, but formerly blueberry vodka and lemonade, a cocktail I call Summertime Blues. I was just having a little summer preview.) Sometimes it’s what I’m watching on TV (yesterday’s Big Bang Theory on the DVR) or what’s coming up for the weekend.
Sometimes, though, I sit down to write and my brain just swirls with memories and connections and aspirations and predictions, and things just flow out. In those times, I never think about whether I’m showing or telling. I just think about whatever I feel drawn toward, and then I write about it. If anything, my journal is much more a compilation of streams of consciousness – peppered with some ah-hah-moment river stones here and there – than anything that could be considered actual writing. Of the show-don’t-tell variety, I mean.
I don’t know how to show what I’m thinking of right now, so I’ll have to just tell it, I guess. I feel like I’m turning a corner on something. My life has always been seasonal, cyclical, and I could count on certain patterns always playing themselves out. I feel now, this spring, this year, I am beginning a new cycle. It’s based in gratitude and envisioning joy and raising my energy. I’m not totally there yet, but I’m close to the starting point. Maybe just days away. “Little darlin’, it’s been a long cold lonely winter.”
Here comes the sun.
Writing like this blog, actually, is part of that. Buying my new Tree-Grows-in-Brooklyn bicycle is another part. Reading good books. Connecting with my daughters. Singing showtunes or listening to Billy Collins poetry in my car. Back porch nights, hearing the spring peepers heralding lusty April. All of these are awakening me this spring. Everyone has their rituals, I think. Washing the windows with Windex. Hanging up the porch swing, putting gas in the grill. Spotting crocuses and daffodils. Opening the sun roof. Playing the car stereo a little too loudly. Lilac candles on the counter. The way people smile at each other in the gardening section of Home Depot on that first flip-flop worthy day.
Other seasons can move you to new cycles as well, but it somehow seems that the springtime can do half of the work for you, if you let it. Christmas can do that, sometimes, and so can the crisp slant of the light on an October afternoon. But in spring, inspiration is everywhere. It’s almost too easy, too cliché to get all worked up about it. I just can’t seem to help myself.
I hope that if you’re reading this, you’ll get inspired to put some of your rituals into action, and let in spring. It will just contribute to the energy, the blooming and the warming, and we’ll all be better for it.
I know I sound like Pollyanna meets Anne of Green Gables, but no one jumps in my head expecting Sylvia Plath. Not that I haven’t felt head-in-the-oven sad before. I’ve been in that kitchen at the very least. But not now. Not in April. Not when there are daffodils.
Okay, corny showtune alert…here is the first part of the song I was singing today, the one about the girl who sings to flowers to coax them into the pretty world above.
Hey buds below ... up is where to grow
Up with which below can't compare with.
Hurry - it's lovely up here...
Life down a hole takes an awful toll,
What with not a soul there to share with
Hurry - it's lovely up here!Wake up, bestir yourself,
It's time that you disinter yourself
You've got a spot to fill - a pot to fill
And what a gift package of shower, sun and love
You'll be met above everywhere with,
Fondled and sniffed by millions who drift by,
Life here is rosy - if you're a posy
Hurry it's lovely here!