THE LULU CHRONICLES
The above is only a four-word sentence, yet it describes the longing of my soul perfectly. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t think of myself as a someone who sees it as an obligation, a duty, a calling if you will, to lament, struggle, weep, and laugh over putting words on paper. Of course, now days, who actually uses paper to write on? A pen, pencil in hand now seems like holding a foreign relic, an antique of a long, almost forgotten era. Fingertips to keyboard is the most comprehensible mode of communication now. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. I am still a writer.
I am just home from another month of travel. Oh, not the exotic kind that takes one to romantic, far away places. My travel has been ordinary; the stuff lives are made of. So here I sit propped up in bed, laptop on lap and words piled up in my heart pushing against it like cattle leaning into the small confines of a corral. The words want out. They want to be free. Yet, I find myself fighting against all things that keep me from my heart’s desire. The list is endless, urgent, and real.
Suitcase lying on the floor to be unpacked. Dirty clothes needing to be washed. In my living room right now sits a chair that doesn’t belong, on a rug that needs to be vacuumed. The chair comes from my husband’s office. Since his death, his things have started piles of their own searching for a place to belong. Outside is a lawn that needs to be mowed and flower beds that have become a battle zone between weakening blooms and hearty weeds armed with thistles and bees. All want my attention. All want first bidding. They clamor and clang shouting, “Me first!”
But, I awoke this morning in my own lovely bed after a long day of travel and countless nights away with one conviction: I am a writer. I must write. I must write now, today, this very minute. I must ignore the panic buttons going off all around me in the yard and the house and first give myself to the words of my heart. I have decided that from now on, they take precedent. They get the chair in the front row. The words placed in me from something and SomeOne get first bidding. It is time.
Ever since Gary’s death the need to make decisions about this and that have hovered over me like house swallows. What are you going to do now? What are you going to do about the house? Do you sell? Do you move? If so, where? Do you get a job? At sixty-three, sending out resumes seems like precursor from hell, truly. Thankfully, before Gary died, he helped me with lots of important decisions, but we didn’t cover them all, we couldn’t. We simply didn’t know the answers because we didn’t know the questions that would come. Not all of them. Nobody does until ...
However, this morning I woke up with at least one question solved. What am I going to do now? I’m going to write. I am a writer. From now on, everything I do and decide will be built around that one conviction. Being a writer means, you spend time writing. You live where you can write. You budget your time around your writing schedule. You do not allow the noisy and squeaky to displace the calling.
Gary never did. He was a preacher. He preached. Whether it was at church, camp, or on the soccer field, he preached. I write. So, I will go write.