Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Day!

Normally time races by with phenomenal speed often in a blur. How often have you said or heard: wow, where did the time go? where did the month go?

Then we hit leap year. That quadrennial event that gives us 366 days in the year and 29 in February.

A speed bump in the calendar? An extender of the “longest” month of the year. Or the gift of an extra day. I prefer the first and the last. How many times have you had to stop and remember that there aren’t 28 days in February this year? It slows you down for the moment and that is good. It forces you to be aware. Take advantage of this gift of a day. Do something special. It is a gift and gifts aren’t to be wasted.

And Happy Birthday to all those who only have a real birthday every four years.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Finding a voice

What does it take to find a voice? For some it is the inspiration of a talent, the ability to sing or speak extemporaneously or to excel at a sport. For others it may take being backed into a corner before they are willing to speak out or a life changing experience that hits at your core. For writers I expect that it is much the same way. Some are born with a talent that is nurtured and developed, some learn the technical aspects and work at it through practice and with some it may be inspirational bursts. In another group are those who learn to write for what they need to do: communicating facts, expressing ideas, persuading a position. The technical skills become refined but writing from the heart stays as something avoided.

I am someone for who writing has not come naturally and freely. Working on the technical aspects of refining and refining a draft for work or school my work has become tighter and I have become competent but the ability of doing writing that is creative has been a challenge and is elusive.

Often when I sit alone, whether it be paddling my kayak along a quiet river or in front of the fire in the early morning thoughts just pour out. Sometimes they follow in some order or sometimes come in random streams of consciousness. It is at those times that I wish there was a record button; for when I try to recall later to write it all down or when I start to take out the pad and write, many of the thoughts wisp away. The truth is that I am not sure I could possibly write them all down or even if there was a record button, could manage the torrent of thoughts afterwards. It seems at the time to be just a few thoughts but, when I think about it, the comparison is more like trying to count the droplets coming out of a water sprinkler.

Then there are those times when I can make my mind at peace or at least some semblance of peace and connect to that inner voice. The times when I am writing a message of support for someone else and it feels like I am the medium for the message. I am thinking and typing the words; sometimes go through a few versions or ponder over it through the night, but then I sit there and read it and think, I wrote that? And then there are times when the words just seem to come out. Expressing my thoughts in a way that just fits.

I am discovering that, if I go with those feelings and the urge to write at the moment then I discover something about me that I never knew before and that many others never knew either. I was never before a writer but at these times I think that perhaps I could be. Life is all about learning.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Roller coaster

Your up, your down……when you are in those down turns that seem to be going on for a while it is so difficult to imagine that just a slight change in condition will send you back up.

In the past few weeks I have experienced many such experiences, personally and in those that I have had contact. People who have been out of work for a while that I have been able to offer a job and make their day, make their week; people who have been struggling with difficult physical issues and find that there has been improvement; someone who has defied so many odds in recovering from a serious accident. My own experience of having an extremely challenging time with some new projects only turn a corner and see things start to fall into place.

One thing about life is that so much is not permanent, so much can change. Sometimes it isn’t something big that does it.

Life is certainly a roller coaster. The challenge is remembering that and waiting and seeking that up turn around the bend.