The poet William Stafford’s advice to young poets: Write every day. Don’t wait until you’re inspired. Sit down pen in hand, put it to the paper and see what emerges. Some you’ll use, a lot you won’t, but it’s the act of committing and opening the door to inspiration that counts.
This blog is far from poetry, but it has been a similar kind of discipline. Though discipline doesn’t feel like quite the right word, implying some willful, teeth-gritting practice. Instead, the opportunity to post whatever is on my mind has been more like someone to daily share a beer with. It’s rarely an effort and the ideas and words just tend to flow.
When they don’t, I get a wee bit nervous that some door is starting to close that I like open. But in the case of the past few days, it has simply been the busyness and the business (one and the same) of school. There have been significant blog-worthy moments—like giving a workshop to my own colleagues and sharing some of the book I’m writing with them. A long-time colleague having a difficult open-heart surgery (opened up three times!). Getting a short letter from an old family friend (son of my parent’s friends) with black-and-white photos of him visiting my sister and I in the 1950’s and us all playing with guns. My daughter getting calls from CNN asking if she’s the one who tweeted the MAGA-Hat/ Native American video. (She wasn’t). All of it worthy for the kind of comments I habitually make.
But simply didn’t have the time or psychic space to do justice to any of it. And in 15 minutes, our annual Martin Luther King Ceremony is about to begin.
But William Stafford would be proud. I took the time to write something, whether or not it will bring comfort, information or stimulus for greater thought. Just something.