I’m forever a teacher. In the summer, we teachers chill out, grab a magazine, and head to the beach. Or enroll in professional development of some kind. We learn to knit, roll out of bed rumpled and sea-tossed at ten am, and make our non-teacher friends jealous. Or maybe take four courses at a university. The point is you think about bettering you, in whatever wonderful form that takes. Pedicures and margaritas! Salsa and burritos! Maybe, even Cancun. Heck, Harvard, online.
My course? No surprise– It’s all about blogging. Write Your Way to a Better Blog, to be specific, thanks to the wonderful teachers and editors of Her Stories, the editors responsible for the Mothering Through the Darkness anthology, in which my essay is part.
All this to say, I’m thinking about my blog a bit more than normal, thinking about my writing. This week, I’m asked to write a vision, for gosh sakes. To really get clear about why I’m even spending two minutes with this. Is it a hobby? A journal? A sad Dear Diary or look-at-me-and-my-kids, oh, charting way too many insipid events?
What is the point and what am I looking to get out of it? What do I hope readers (thank you) get out of it? Is it a way to avoid more Skyping, because you’ll already know everything?
Here it is, maybe.
I have a need to keep track, to record the things of substance, because life is windy. Stuff blows away. I want a place to say, “Here. Another place you can see, I lived. I loved. I worked at shouldering this family and my love of community. Here, I even wrote some words”.
But what does that do for you?? Who cares, right, if I am only playing a reel of vacations in Sedona from 1983 and you don’t even know me. I better write some universal truth, some encouragement, big beauty.
I want to show the hard parts. If I’m posting pics of my kids’ new bunkbed, I want to show you the beauty in their expression, I want to capture childhood as it is now. I want to show the process of building the bunk, how my husband and I brought box after box up three flights of stairs, how the delivery man left all seven or eight ginormous boxes outside and the sky threatened rain. I want to capture movement and expression. I want my writing to bring great claps of beauty crashing down, to help me choose the words I need.
To capture process, like an absolute dark room, play space, wine bar, and museum. To be a journal filled with authentic, get-noticed writing which can help me team-up and get better. To grow more. To write. To pause in retrospect. To honor those in my life. To cancel shame, to be a voice of faith and honesty. To reflect goodness in an unexpected place.
I don’t know. I’m still wrinkling my nose, but working with vision is always, always good.