My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Small Voices

Why do you keep a journal? Why do you have a blog? Recently, Iíve noticed that many of the authors of journals I read are asking themselves these questions. Many are wondering whether theyíve run out of things to say or that the medium isnít doing for them what they want it do, that itís too insignificant or perhaps that their life has changed (for the better or the worst) and they no longer have the same interest and/or impetus to write. They give up. They write sporadically. But, the original need to Say Something or just to bitch, is gone. Perhaps, due to recent world events, our words are too small, our lives feel petty and our private miseries seem like sour grapes: how can I complain about XYZ when people are dying, when gas is so high, when people in power are so rich and greedy, etc.

Well, because weíre human. And, life goes on. It goes on with or without us. We can be a part of it or not. Itís a Jack London/Nature Just Is universe. We can shout or whimper or laugh or cry but bad things still happen. We grieve, we mourn, we move on. The world leaves us behind if we let it.

Why do I write? Because Iím a writer. And, Iím only a writer if I write. Whether this shit is any good, itís practice, itís skill-sharpening. The other reason is to document my childrenís lives as best I can. I have no time for lengthy hand-written baby books Ė though I keep one for each child to list highlights, new teeth, vaccinations, birthday parties Ė and I work full-time so Iím not around them as much as Iíd like (though, frankly, I have to admit that some days I feel like Iím around them too much. If you know what I mean).

I so cannot believe that Dusty is almost five. The time passes so quickly that I feel an urge to get all these moments down on virtual paper, to have something to leave behind that shows them how much I love them, how much attention I really was paying to their quirks and growth and interests.

With that said, I try to avoid talking about current events. Mainly because everyone else has already done it and I donít really lend anything of note to the general discussion. But I also donít have much time to keep current at the level thatís possible today with Internet updates and CNN broadcasts on every major and minor event in the world. I keep up as best I can but donít feel qualified to give an educated viewpoint because Iím not usually up-to-speed. I just canít take in anymore human suffering and the media cranks it out at such a pace, and at such level of sensationalism, itísÖ.too much. I havenít watched a news broadcast of any kind since Dusty was 6 months old. If it ainít in the paper, and I want to find out about it, I know how to do it. Iím a researcher. I know how to get what I need and ignore the rest.

I will, though, say this: if you wish to donate money for the victims of Katrina, you can trust that every dime of that check will go to relief efforts if you donate to the Red Cross. Promise. I worked for the ARC for many, many years (personally entered every gift received by the local chapter for Hurricane Andrew relief) and I can vouch for their professionalism and ethical standards. And, there are plenty of other local ways to feel useful in such an overwhelming situation. At work, weíre putting together health kits for the victims which will be distributed through the Methodist church network that my employer is affiliated with.

Perhaps youíll join me in a couple of years and promise not to vote for the Republican candidate? Thank you.

With that little PSA, I leave you until next week and wish you a peaceful weekend. The weather here has been so unbelievably nice (apart from the hellacious allergy attack it brought on) that I think weíll be spending a good part of it outside. I also promised Dusty weíd make an apple pie.


2:39 p.m. ::
prev :: next