Monday Musings

I am not a sophisticated writer. 

I do okay with spelling but grammar will always trip me up. Neither really seem to be the point. When I become engaged with something I’m reading I rarely find myself marveling at the structure of it. Good bones are certainly important but what I’m always after is the heart of a thing. Worrying too much about the nuts and bolts is a little like having a well built room without a comfy chair. 

I just wrote nearly a thousand words in a blog post and now I’m laughing about it. The problem doesn’t appear to be that I have nothing to say, but seriously, I just wrote 979 words and I still didn’t really say anything. Sigh. 

“Write what you know”
“Never edit as you go”
“Write TO someone”
“Embrace truth”
“Be authentic”

Life is chock full of instructions. In an effort to be thorough I embrace them all and wind up with a blathering mess. So, I have my laugh about so much nothingness on the page, hit the delete button, and start over. 

Writing what I know feels vulnerable and bumps up against my desire to grow the readership of this blog. Why AM I doing it ? I have an idea of who my ideal audience is, and yet scrolling through my list of followers, I realize there are many that don’t even remotely fit that profile. So many never engage. It seems that a little clean-up is in order. It isn’t about the width after all, it’s about the depth. I need to do a little thinking about why I’m really doing this at all. 

I woke up (again) this morning to a wildly swinging windchime and rain l. I don’t mind the rain for my refuge walk but I do mind a rainy forty minute drive to get there. I’ll take Yoda out in the neighborhood later but for now I think I might finally be in the mood to start clearing out another more tangible part of my life. The garage. 

I know that all the bins of crap I store out there are metaphors for something. But there is just “stuff” too. Everything from IRAQ war playing cards to beads that someone brought from NOLA, to the dozens of Christmas cards from years past. Today is the day I begin the long goodbye.  

When I was younger I collected odd things. Every time my grandmother flew down to California or Nevada she would return with tiny, empty liquor bottles. I would place them on a little bookcase I had but only after swallowing the tiny drops that might remain. I saved little Mighty Mint containers too. Small plastics that dispensed powerful mints. Oh, and all of the baseball and football and basketball cards. ( Why ? )

I have bins full of random things given to me as gifts that I can’t bear to move along (though today I will). Books I’ll never read, plastic knick-knacks I’ll never display, art that will never adorn my walls. With tenderness for what they once meant and with a nod to the good intention of the givers, they will find their way out of here. 

( To my knowledge no one has ever inquired about “that knick-knack” given over 20 years ago … so why do I keep it ? )

To think that even as I near 60 I am still feeling some sense of connection to “stuff” is a bit alarming. None of it really defines me and yet I hang onto it as if I’m afraid to let it go. As if I would be letting a part of ME go. (It might just be that all that “stuff” is what tethers me to an idea of who I am that no longer rings true) The truth is: stuff is making me feel clausterphobic rather than nostalgic. It’s time. 

When we replaced all of our flooring we were in the position to start anew. Everything had to come out, and only what we really wanted, came back in. The rest of it lies in wait. I may only get one bin cleared today but it will be one more than yesterday. Tomorrow and the days that follow will unfold as they will. This isn’t mapped out nor is it an instruction. It is what is in front of me right now. This day. This moment. 

Spring is coming and even as it dispenses the last coughs and spits of winter I am in planning mode for a couple of trips south. Most of my plans depend on whether or not I will be vaccinated in the next couple months. I expect to be in the next phase and have the flexibility to schedule accordingly. Fingers crossed. Adventure calls. 

I won’t keep it waiting. 

19 Comments on “Monday Musings

  1. Ahh .. stages. I can see it like that. Yes, I’ll have to just relax into the process of parting with things. I’ve been through a few rounds, so everything I touch has already “made the cut” once … wish me luck !

  2. Oh, I feel for you. Most of us have probably been there! The problem with parting is that we often throw out the wrong stuff … Don’t let it get to you. It is completely normal. As for writing, we go throuhg stages and that’s part of the process. (That from me, erm …) Don’t lose courage

  3. You give words to what many of us feel Bon, and you would be much missed if you stopped. Remember what we know about expectations…..
    I feel that you were called to your blog journey and the rest of us are along for the ride. Some days I join, some days I don’t, I never regret it when I do though.
    Oh, and I have commented several times only to let it go when I realized that I had to create ANOTHER account just to say something. Little things seem like big things sometimes.
    I love you though and I stay connected through your blog, so I hope you stay.

    • Oh yes, I do know about expectations. Thank you so much for being here. I think this is largely about defining my own purpose. I doubt I would choose to walk away from it, but maybe I shouldn’t think so much about “growing an audience”. It has grown a little at a time and it really IS about the depth and not the width. Love you back. I appreciate your thoughts so much ❤

  4. Hi Bonnie and thanks for the honesty and authenticity with which you share your musings. I agree with Gretchen about the quality of your writing and would add that your words and adventures have also inspired me to see more deeply, explore the natural world with my camera in hand and curiosity in my heart. Thank you. Jude

    • Thank you so much, Jude. I so hope you will be able travel this way this summer or fall. I think we would have a great time together. I have so much to show you ! Thanks for writing.

  5. I have no idea what a “sophisticated writer” is, or who one might be that you are comparing yourself to. Perhaps someone with multiple best sellers? And then there are the rest of us. You are an excellent writer and an engaging writer. So let’s just go with that. And yes to too much stuff! And most of what I am dealing with isn’t even mine; though in some cases—after almost nine years—it is kind of getting co-mingled. Argh.

    • You have a point about not comparing myself to others. That is always good advice and I appreciate the reminder. As for the “stuff” ? Oh my. I really needed to start with the kitsch and save the paperish things for later. The papers all represent some period of my life I’ve yet to fully make peace with. But it’s all mine. And it’s time. In I go ..

  6. Tell me about your Tigger trinket. My son and I watched “Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too” innumerable times when he was very young. It’s ok to let go–and a little bit at a time is a good way to get into the practice.

    • That Tigger in the photo is a small box. The small tin was made in Germany. Would you like it ? I have made a little progress this morning and I’m happy to report it hasn’t been stressful at all. It’s quite the little skip down memory lane. Thanks for writing.

      • If I take the tin, then I’d have an even harder time letting it go someday–because it would remind me of both my son and YOU! So let it go somewhere else. Thank you, though!

  7. Oh Bonnie, such a situation we can all relate to. When we moved into our new home I too only brought in with me what I wanted inside…but unfortunately we had built a huge pole barn first on the property, you can imagine what it’s full of!! I need to get up there and finish clearing mostly “stuff” from the past and move on. Unfortunately I’m so content in the house I have little if no motivation to do it-out of sight out of mind. This morning you have motivated me to get started. THANKS!

    • I suspected I wasn’t alone in this. I realize I have revisited this subject a few times and in each case I made necessary headway. Today I’m grateful for the rain ! Thanks for writing !

  8. What you write is interesting and personal. I love that! When I was contemplating doing a blog I was somewhat hamstrung by the idea of ‘who is my audience’? Ultimately I realized I would do best to write what I would want to read, especially what I would’ve loved to have been able to read when I adopted the avocation of recreational naturalist a decade ago. And, in the absence of any quest for financial remuneration, the only person I have to please with this is myself, so that I continue to be excited to be doing it.

    • That sounds like the perfect recipe to me. Do what you love, love what you do. I am very grateful to have discovered your blog. I learn so much ! As for mine, yes it’s personal and maybe a little indulgent at times, but It’s my own and I get to say what I like. The older I get, the less value I see in keeping it all in. Thanks so much for writing.

  9. Stuff shaming should be a thang. I am 11 years your senior and the stuff i hang onto, well, we are peas in that same pod, and plenty of my stuff bears your artistic or whimsical imprint. Plus things that bear a place or person memory… As my memory fades, I take some small pleasure in running across these memories when I am in hot pursuit of something ELSE I am looking for. And yes, my stuff threatens to swallow me whole at times… but… like Alice, I love all my rabbit holes. I will leave the mindsweeping to others.

    • Oh, I know exactly what you mean. The paperish things will be the most difficult for sure and many will suvive a half dozen rounds before I ever let go. Our PX days were legendary … and then there all the letters that came before*

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