Saturday, March 5, 2011

On Writing

I've always been a writer I guess.

I am never one to freely grab at labels and apply them to myself. Some labels such as daughter, sister, Minnesotan, and Preble apply to me, I was born with them. But some are what you make of yourself: student, lifeguard, Christian, or friend. I've had labels attached to me by others, and politely declined them. At what point do I really become an artist, designer, writer, poet, etc?

My favorite things, including one of my past journals
Anyway, I've been writing my whole life. I am a very visual person, but at the same time I think in  words. Often when I see something I will construct a perfect way to describe it, in a sentence or two. I've been a chronic journaler since I was 12, but a few scrawled entries date back to 7 and 8 years old. Capturing memories has always been my hope. Journaling, composing poetry/prose, essays on random subjects, or just silly stories about teddy bears and trees have all been produced at one time or another. Not for other people, but for myself. Often times it doesn't even feel like a choice, I am compelled. I must write, and commit word to paper. 

Okay, enough musing... but my actual point for writing today was to share some of my writing with you. Here and there I write poetry (more like prose), I consistently write in my journal, and also find various other outlets (such as this blog). While tinkering around with writing, I realized what a rich resource my childhood is. I tend to write simple memories from my childhood when I can't find anything else to write. My childhood is such a source of inspiration. In my tween years I wrote terrible 'poetry', ugh. But many things I jotted down about my childhood became seeds to return to and cultivated into a more complete thought. At my previous school I took a reading poetry class, and a writing poetry class. I always gravitated toward writing prose about my childhood. It’s interesting that my writing style tends to be more whimsical than anything else. I just try to capture a memory, sum up a moment. Basically it’s those moments that are so pivotal when you are a kid. The moment when you realized gravity existed, or realized how bad you were, or jealous you could get. The moments where you learned that you and others were not invincible...
Here's one of my favorites:

The Day I Learned How to Fly

The day I learned how to fly
I first discovered gravity

Tiny white fingers gripping each metal step
I ascended to the top of a mountain
Pulling my weight up to the summit
Though no more than four feet high
On top of that swing set slide
I could reach out and touch the clouds

I surveyed the land below, my backyard, prepared to jump
My parachute was harnessed and ready
Little tennis-shoed feet lifted off the metal
Leaping into the unknown
Unexpected, hands broke my fall in the grass
The halting flight ended in a crinkle of plastic

I didn’t fly! My trusty parachute!
Glancing at my shoulders I inspected the straps
The thin plastic bag was in working order
Rather than risk bruised knees a second time
I took flight with my feet firmly on the ground
The grass cushioning my steps as I took off running

The day I learned how to fly
I first discovered gravity

1 comment:

  1. I love your writing. As I told Sarah today, it's like having a conversation with you.