Some days, Billy Joel’s lyrics “ They say that these are not the best of times but they’re the only times I’ve ever known” echo through my head. Today, I actually woke up singing them, and now the tune is on repeat, almost drowning out my own private thoughts I am trying to have…geez, where does a person have to go to get their brain all to oneself?
I am hoping it is Lake Erie. I love the water. It feeds and fuels my soul way more than the hot sticky cinnamon bun I ate for breakfast yesterday. The warm, gooey concoction with the thick, white glaze billowing over the top, down the sides, and on to my plate, hold no comparison to the water. Ah, water. It is my friend. It can sit still, running deep, or speak to me as its waves lavish the shore with its coolness and the mix of sounds telling me what kind of day it has enjoyed. Oh, speak to me, my muse.
I am up in Sandusky, Ohio with dear friends at a mini writer’s camp. We are searching our souls, our blogs, our quarter-finished books for inspiration. A dedicated time to put pencil to paper, fingers to keys, hearts to the real troubles of our souls, brains to wit, and away we go. We’ve also talked ALOT about the burdens we bare and which ones do we want to have the bravery to reveal for all to see. COURAGE.
It’s led us to scour the internet reading other good writer’s words. Discussing the difference between them and us-maybe aside from the minor details like book deals, publicist, teams of designers and engineers helping them release their brand into the universe, is COURAGE. Talking about the real deals of life, the meat they are metaphorically and physically chewing on, the hard lessons they are learning, and the who gives a flip if I have offended you opinions. The what you see is what you get bravado.
And I think about all that I see not only in my life but in 2020 alone. So many are wishing it would just be over, as if 2021 will somehow make life better, jut the mere tooting of our horns and dawning our party hats will erase the economic, political, and social turmoil many are enduring. Some are in oblivion, buried deep beneath the heavy blanket of feeling completely overwhelmed. Some have developed an I shall thumb my nose at you 2020, face held high in the wind to the persona the actual year 2020 has been given through meme upon meme about life as we count the days of its year, 2020.
It makes me think of an unnamed, ahem, friend’s cigar remains, or lets just call them what we know them to be cigar butts. As I grabbed my coffee, decaf for me, and walked bleary-eyed out onto the suspended deck to commune with my friend, the lake- that’s right , be jealous, I have a friend that’s one of the Great Lakes-my eyes connected with the rippling blue as I spilled my drink onto my foot and patio rug. This all brought my attention to the ash tray pictured above. One might think all I could see were the ashes, the decay of the once tasty smoking treat if that’s your thing.But I also saw the butts, the ends, the parts that haven’t been finished.
I have walked through some stuff ya’ll, haven’t most of us? Not just in 2020 but in life. And it has been heavy, but it is still so good. And I see it ALL- the ashes, the remains, and the hope still left- not completely snuffed out, not quite finished. So it’s been awhile since I’ve been on my blog, but that’s about to change. Grab your coffee, your tea, your drink of choice…it’s about to get real.Follow me!