Friday, February 04, 2011

writing it down

In an unusual confluence of pressures and demands, both Ed and I hurriedly went off to attend to work issues early this morning. But somewhere in the middle of those early hours, I took time to look at the NYTimes and I allowed myself to be amused by this article (on the subject of the proliferation of writers who want to publish, for the world to see, their memoirs).

I like the opening line: A moment of silence, please, for the lost art of shutting up.

But I don’t like the overall message: that if you live an ordinary life, you do not deserve to see yourself in print.

I never thought that it is the extraordinariness of life that made you an interesting candidate for a memoir (though obviously extraordinary people living in extraordinary circumstances have a foot in the door there). Instead, I thought it was about whether you had an original story to tell and could tell it well. Original need not be fame-driven or revolutionary in nature.

Then, toward the end of the article, I see that the author has a message to those who do not have either an interesting story to tell or the ability to craft something halfway readable: go blog.

Well, sure, you can do that, but why equate a blogging field with a pile of nothingness? If you’re going to have a boring and poorly written blog, isn’t that going to give you the same meager returns as a boring and poorly written memoir would?

People write for many reasons. I see no reason to discourage anyone from writing. If you don’t want to read fragile efforts of another soul, on paper or on the Internet – don’t then! But if someone writes, and there is even only one other person who reads her or his writing (a mother? a friend?) then we’ve got a conversation going. And what could be better than two (or more) people, groping to understand one another.

In other news, after attending to the nagging details of work, Ed and I broke away and by 4, we were at Owen Park. Just five minutes from my condo, infinitely pretty but especially in the late daylight of a winter day.


We clicked into our skis and took off. I was so dazzled by the light in the woods and over the prairie, that I managed to crash at the bottom of a steep descent.


Serves me right. In the same way that people ought not text and drive, they should also not ski and take photos.


And did I mention that I had the pleasure of watching, for a brief second, a wild turkey consider seriously the possibility of befriending Ed?


The turkey thought better of it and flew away.

Wet, somewhat cold, but ultimately satisfied, we returned home and Ed fell asleep before I even finished dinner.