Monday, March 29, 2021

SOL21 Slice 29: Elephants live here


I am participating in the
All participants are sharing stories about moments in their lives, writing 
 every day for the month of March 2021.
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for nurturing teacher-writers!

We raced to the boat along the most verdant green coastline . . . she was only ten years old then and I had just turned 40 . . . we made it just in time, and climbed onto the back, into the thick rope netting that covered the whole end of the boat . . . yes, we just held on for dear life, squished in behind the sisal coils, embedding ourselves within . . . unbelievably, we were stowaways . . . 

No, I'm not going to share a dream, that is lame, I already did that this month. 

I stood in the quiet kitchen, watching my tea steep, aware of the sun's shadow across the kitchen floor, and wondered,

What to write?

I moved into the bedroom, sat down in my writing chair, and opened up my journal again. Well, I could write about that, though my husband may very well not see the same humor as I do, and I would never want to hurt his feelings - certainly, not in a public blog. 

I sipped my tea. The birds are happy this morning. Let me think. Hmm, if I write THAT, after just spending time with them, oh - no, that's not appropriate.

I wrote a little more into my journal, and then put my pen down and returned to the kitchen, where I began prepping the ingredients for lentil soup. We haven't had lentil soup in awhile . . . it would be delicious with cornbread . . . I continued to sift through blog topics.

Nope, that is THEIRS to share, not mine.

My old colleague used to love my lentil soup. I wonder how she's doing? I haven't talked to her in years. It's much too early to make the soup, but good to know I have what I need. I have what I need. I have what I need. What I need is a writing topic . . . .

Oh - that reminds me. I could write into that, change the context a little bit . . . no, she would see right through it, know it was that moment I was referencing, and probably never confide in me again.

Jumping jacks! That's what I need to do! Movement has a way of breaking down all sorts of mental barriers. Head to the basement, a few quick exercises. Punch the punching bag. (When IS my son going to move this out of here?) Oh my goodness, I am so lousy at push ups, so bad at this. 

Back to my writing chair, remembering. Oh, THAT! Well, he told that story so well, he should write it down - it's not mine to offer. He sure had me laughing, though. 

Here I am at the very end of this 31 day challenge (day 29, woohoo!) and the work of my writing seems far more labor intensive. This year, I am working very hard to actually write the slice from the day's events - or memories triggered from the day's events. I always journal first, simply free-write whatever is on my mind, and then sift through and find some nugget that is story/slice worthy. 

I guess today's post is about what I am NOT writing. Ha. 

It's as if I am surrounded by "SECRETS" - things that I feel are not really mine to share. Even a seemingly clever little insight becomes a full stop dead end. Elephants everywhere! (Don't mention them.) The journal receives, but not the blog. 

Maybe I am just a wimpy writer.

I will tell you, we remembered to pull in the porch cushions yesterday before the rain. That's a rare triumph here. The sun is shining brightly today, and I think I will sit out there for a bit, on the nice dry cushions, and just enjoy the cool air . . . oh, and there will be delicious soup for dinner.

"You must be unintimidated by your own thoughts 
because if you write with someone looking over your shoulder, 
you'll never write." 

- Nikki Giovanni


  1. Maureen, you have written a post without writing a post! But the post you have made is beautiful and detailed, and gave us so many snippets of your day. I especially like the sweet ending where you can sit outside and enjoy the dry cushions and look forward to soup for dinner. I would like to hear more about the stowaway trip. You have great dreams!

    1. Thank you, Denise! You are always so kind and supportive of me!!

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed your "I can't write about this" slice. You gave me both a picture of what you were doing and what was going on in your head. Slice of life.

    1. Thank you, Terje! Sometimes, that's all one can do, right?

  3. Maureen, you have said so many things about what to write on a blog, things that live in my mind, things I try to remember: Whose story is this to tell? Like you, I see myself thinking about they w/ each idea; will this post honor my husband? I always read things I rewrite to Ken to see if he approves and finds humor in these moments, too. Have I written about this before? This one is so hard, but I also stop myself when I sense I’ve been there or done that. Of course you did find a topic: All the ways our minds work to celebrate small moments and the sublime parts of life, like sitting on the porch, and eating homemade lentil soup, which sounds really good, BTW.

    1. Yes, Glenda, you hit the nail on the head - I am constantly thinking exactly this, "Whose story is this to tell?" Lately, I've been trying to explore a little deeper - why is this STILL on my mind, and how might I approach it so that it is MY story? Nikki Giovanni would not be impressed with me - I do fear someone looking over my shoulder!

  4. You are NOT a wimpy writer, Maureen. Quite the opposite!

    BTW: I love that you have a writing chair in your bedroom. I need one of those.

  5. Thanks, Stacey! The writing chair is a fairly new addition - Mother's Day, two years ago...I love it!!