Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Gift Of Writing

For all of those who wrote to me yesterday and expressed caring or concern about me, I am fine. One of my female friends suggested that maybe I was having a PMS day. I have been married for over thirty years and I am well aware of what PMS is. I have the scars to prove it. This reminds me of a time I was in a Border's book store. I saw a display with a book that had an intriguing title. It was written by a man and titled Everything I Know about Women. Since I am always looking for insight into the female gender I picked up the book and began to page through it. All the pages were blank! Gee, I could have written that book! I have acquired the same depth of knowledge and insight after living with the same woman most of my adult life.

I will continue writing daily thoughts because there are many people who value them and 99% of the time I enjoy writing them. I am scheduled to go on a family vacation in a few weeks so I will get a break then. Sometimes I get compliments not so much for what I say as much as how I say it. People tell me I have a gift for writing. Since I have never really done anything to develop my writing and it comes natural to me, I guess it really is a gift. If one has a gift, it should be shared. Of course, having the ability to write complete sentences that are more or less grammatically correct is just half the equation. One must have something to write about. In order to have something to write about one must be a student of life, have a keen eye for observation, and, if you are truly blessed, the soul of a poet. I would have to give some credit for my writing skills to all my English teachers but more than that I would thank all the great writers whose books I have read in my life. I think it is difficult to be a good writer if you are not a reader of well written books. I am influenced by many authors, especially Thomas Merton. As far as my vision of life I would give a great deal of credit to the time I lived in the monastery and for my continued relationship with the monastic world. I don't know if spending time in a monastery in my youth has made me a truly spiritual person but it did teach me a different way of seeing the world around me. When you look at life from a contemplative stance, it is to some degree looking at the world with the eyes of a poet. Contemplative and poetic eyes see the magic of life and the extraordinary that is often hidden in the ordinary and seemingly mundane routines of life. As an adult I have to work a little bit to see life this way. My young granddaughter, Chloe, sees it this way naturally. Of course, her perspective will get clouded as she gets older and one day she will have to re-learn to see things as she sees them now. When you have quiet moments in you life and you are able to simply be, remember this. There is "looking" and there is "seeing". They are not the same thing. Take the time to truly see things so that which is sometimes hidden will be revealed to you.

Most of this week in true Kentucky Derby tradition it has been cold. Yesterday, however, was a very beautiful day. I went out for a walk during lunch with one of my favorite friends. She is also a favorite lunch buddy. Our walk was wonderful and refreshing. We made one another laugh a lot as we walked along the river and through the park. The sky was blue, the sun was shining, and a cool breeze was blowing. There was a festive feeling and aroma in the air because the "Great Lawn" along the river is temporarily the site of many food vendors who are in town for Derby Week. Many of my fellow office workers and others who are tourists or on vacation are enjoying their lunch outdoors with friends and family. Today I will also be having lunch in the land of gyros, pork chop sandwiches and elephant ears.

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