I started writing this blog five years ago just before Easter week 2011. That year Easter day was very late, close to the latest it can be. Interestingly, this year Easter is close to the earliest it can be. In between I’ve been writing, building things in my shop, aging and generally living life.
Writing has been a journey of discovery. I started this blog with Easter week and the book, The Last Week by Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan. The story of Jesus during Easter week has always been a strong interest of mine and more than any story from the Bible informs my faith and most important for me how it guides the way I behave and treat others.
Writing down these thoughts has always helped me better understand both the teachings and myself. At first, exploring, researching and writing a few things here and there was helpful and got the writing wheels in my head moving. Looking back, I wasn’t very consistent about writing and it was that lack of writing discipline that often frustrated me.
Often it’s adversity that becomes the catalyst for change. In my case, just six months after I started writing I received the diagnosis of prostate cancer. During the months of biopsies, treatment decision and starting treatments something changed in my writing brain. I found the need to write about what was happening and for several months all I blogged about was how cancer was affecting my life.
As the treatments passed and cancer shifted my reality into new normals, so did my writing. Being touched by something potentially life changing and life ending, changes a person. For me it reminded me of my life long interest and desire to write and gave me the will to set about it in a disciplined way. Since the radiation treatments have ended, I’ve done my best to maintain a weekly writing and blog posting schedule.
Something else interesting happened along the way. Poetry.
I’ll have to admit that in younger years I didn’t have much of a taste for it and wrote very little poetry. However, I do recall voices of teachers and others who said that some of my writing has a “lyrical quality.” I guess some of it does.
One day a couple of years ago I sat down to write an essay. Just a simple weekly writing for this blog and couldn’t do it. Instead of the prose I normally wrote my brain just kept up a rhythm of words and what came out through my fingers was a poem. Then another.
Then I decided that I needed to somehow write about my cancer experience. It just didn’t work as prose and instead I ended up with a collection of poems.
I am in the final stages of editing that book of poetry on cancer. I am down to just three poems to rewrite and then I’ll lay it down and move on to my next writing task. The writing has taught me much about myself, how I write and importantly how I react to criticism. (Yes, there is a whole month worth of blog posts on that last sentence more on that another day.)
And still I write, create. But from time to time we need pause and look back to see how far we’ve come before we gather our strength and move forward. Today is one of those times when I looked at my blog stats and saw that this will be my 399th post and 948 followers will be notified that I’ve posted. I’d like to think that means I’ve been somewhere.
It’s always difficult to say where I’ll be going with this blog and my writing. I will get my poetry book into print and I’d like to write a novel. Perhaps I’ll do more with this blog or perhaps I’ll do less so I can focus my creative energies elsewhere. The journey’s end is always unclear until we’ve traveled the road.
All I know for sure is that there is life to live and words to write.
Till next time,