Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Holding on to the Night

Somedays are glorious and wonderful, leaving you grasping for just another moment, just one more glimpse of the sunset, room for one more piece of cake, or just another few minutes chatting with a friend. Some days are quite the opposite they drag on unbearably slow, seeming almost never ending and painfully dull and agonizing. I have a very hard time letting go of the day especially when one has been very good or quite bad. A wonderful day leaves me hesitant to fall asleep knowing that it is likely that the next day will not present me with the magic and wander of the day before. I hold onto it tightly refusing to give into the need to sleep and accept the rise and fall of the sun. Bad days leave me full of anxiety that the next day will just be a repetition of the disappointing day. I hold onto that bad day just as tightly as the good refusing to accept another drull day one without excitement or joy one that feels ordinary.
In these moments late into the evening when the outside world is dark and quiet and I should have drifted into slumber hours ago, I stay awake. I refuse to let go. Even when I feel my eyelids drooping and I slide further under the covers to escape the nighttime chill I refuse to accept the uncertainty of the day ahead.
Sometimes this means that I just snuggle up with a book, reading by flashlight just in case my mom decides to make the cross country trek simply to check and see if I have fallen to sleep, other times I simply let Netflix autoplay the next show in the series or I watch Pride & Prejudice (the A&E version of course) for the millionth time, continuing a late night love affair that started in St. Louis at the age of 5.
But recently I decided to spend that time where I refused to say goodnight to the world, reading the Kinfolk cookbook. I sat and flipped through the pages of people opening their homes to share with the world a meal that meant something special to them. Meals shared with friends, passed down from generations, sprinkled with fresh ingredients and cultural heritage. Instead of being weary for the next day it made me excited for the days to come. For when the weather changes and when the sun stays out just a bit later. For fresh grass and afternoon rains. For old friends and new recipes. For mismatched plates and a room full of laughter. I fell asleep with a peace that there are better days ahead, days filled with joy and celebration of life and food. That the good stuff is all just down the road and that makes all of those icky days just a tad bit more endurable. It makes drifting off to sleep accepting that tomorrow will bring what it chooses that much easier.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

To Be a Writer

I recently had a conversation with a friend about what it means to create, to be a creative. In today’s world it is easy to take up an artistic hobby, we are surrounded by so much beauty and by so many platforms to share it on, but oftentimes that want to create is met by skepticism both from ones self and the world around you. Can I call myself an artist if I am just painting random colors on Sunday afternoons for no one to see but my cat? Can I call myself a dancer if my stage is the aisles of a grocery store? Can I call myself a musician if I only know two cords and can’t play an entire song? Can I call myself a writer if I never publish a novel?
I love to write and if you ask my mom I am quite good at it. At work I actually spend 90% of my time writing. I write blog posts, recipes, letters to CEOs, actions alerts, and reports. But am I a writer? No, I am a campaign coordinator (a title that most definitely encourages creativity...). I spend my evenings writing letters and postcards to my dear friends. Does that qualify me as a writer?
What if I am a writer solely based on my love of the written word and my profound yearning to put paper to pen and to form sentences, oftentimes with misspellings and grammatical errors.
Just maybe this could be the space for that. Maybe I will never have a blog with tutorials on how to make feathered lampshades or one that is a monetizing opportunity. Maybe I will never publish a book.
But maybe this can be a space where magic happens. 
Where creativity flows freely and once a week I post a picture from my Instagram account and I write. I write the words that I didn’t say to anyone, the words on my heart, and the words that came to mind when the sun was shining and the wind was blowing and all was good. I write about how I feel about knitting or my latest obsession or those memories from college that are so embedded in my mind that I relive them constantly, because there is something so joyful about laughing in Trader Joe’s over my absurd need to buy so many cans of black beans. What if I write about growing up and growing old and how hard it is and how wonderful it might just be? What if I write about my fears and dreams and joys?
What if this place is where I write things that I believe in? Where I write in my own voice. Where I am not censored by organizational speaking points and ways of talking. Where for a few minutes the world isn’t dark and depressing and I am not surrounded by the discouraging reality of the global food system. 
What if this space becomes a place of freedom where the expectations of the world do not matter? Where the pressure to be perfect doesn’t exist?
Where I can be a writer not by profession but simply by passion.