This is a repost of Julie Herman‘s first b.read.crumbs post of 2024. I’ll be following her lead (as I so often do) in my post next week. We might have a theme running through the year. Let me know if you can spot it.
Is it foolish, friends, to want to travel to the parts of my life, both those seen and those as-yet unexplored?
I think not. Though my laptop screen has a photo of a plant with the sign, DO NOT LOOK BACK, YOU ARE NOT GOING THAT WAY, I do. Look back, that is. For where I’ve been is instructive. I’ve been a Christmas card inscriber for a Hallmark shop, a babysitter, a nanny, a nurse, a camp counselor, a friend, a daughter, sister, cousin, mother, wife, volunteer, fundraiser, tutor, teacher, mentor, mentee, writer, reader, traveler, engineer, web designer, student, teacher… and I’ve learned a lot from being each of these things. And in their way, each of these things have nested into me, informed who I am and what I know. Writers are so often told, WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW. Well, thanks to these experiences, I got a lot to write about.
There are also things I have not yet been. Some of them I gave up reaching toward a long time ago. I have always thought I’d like to be an herbalist, like Brother Cadfael in Ellis Peter’s historical mystery series. I also quite liked being a nurse, especially the time I spent in the ICU/CCU with its blend of technical knowledge and people skills. The few things that have forever slipped away from me aren’t those that I’ve mourned too much. Astronaut, for example. I lack both the math and the cast-iron stomach for that job. But I can read. And in the reading, I can become anything, even someone who flies from planet to planet with nothing but a bit of tin between them and stardust. And also, in my writing, I can fly any old which way I want to, even to the stars.
Like the Fool setting out on their journey of joyful discovery, I don’t have a solid plan yet for this year, though GrandOne, GrandToo and the forthcoming TresGrande will no doubt take much of my time and energy and bring great joy in return. In addition to writing about stars, I am thinking beginning to learn more about herbalism might be possible. There are classes out there, waiting for me to take them.
This year will bring me new experiences, and may days of Not Getting It All Done, but many of those days will include writing, because no matter what else I am, there are stories within me singing to be free.
Signing off for now because there are pages to write before I sleep–and I? I am a Fool for undiscovered pages.
One Excellent Thing: I always thought I’d run a bookstore someday, so it is with great pleasure that I can say I know people who do just that. Take a look at your local independent bookseller and see what gems they stock that are just for you. Also perhaps look into their sometimes available Surprise Gift Box from Hares & Hatters Bookshop, owned in part by my friend, Jamie Woods.
You can read previous issues of b.read.crumbs here.
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