a practice in writing; my blog manifesto

I will not write about our outing to the pumpkin patch. But I will describe the hole in the shirt of the man who sold us a bike, his grease-stained fingers, the gray dog at his side, the skeletons of rusty bicycles outside the garage, the 50's Schwinn still unboxed beneath his tool bench, the way he grumbled when describing his son who had no interest in restoration, the story of the purple bikes, male and female, and how he brought them together, the endless racks of collectibles with their own collection of dust.

I will not post the details of a perfect vacation but I'll tell you about crying in the airport, independent bookstores, first symphonies, sushi, breakfast sandwiches, the loss of my pelvic floor. I hope to post a great deal about beauty and not the brand that comes from an expensive purse, or curling wand, or eye cream but the brand I found in the white-haired widow walking her dog, 84 years old and spritely, her perfectly manicured Tudor for sale, a face full of soft wrinkles, her watery eyes when she said she'd lived there all her life.

I will not describe the details of my daughter's birthday party but I'll write about the raggedy bunny lying limp and mangy on the stairs, how once we made a plan to get rid of him but couldn't follow through, how he's been thrown and spilled on and tripped over and still has a warm bed to sleep in every night. I will write about the magic and misery of watching a newborn turn into a one year old–a vast and rapid miracle.

I will not write about our perfect weekend. I will explain the yellow light that poured out of the restaurant door; a beacon against the line of gray buildings. I'll tell you about the waiter on the stool playing the viola, the crispness of his white collar, the shine on his shoe, and how the melody floated through the doorway like a gift for the dreary. 

I will not always post a picture. But I will take time to give my words value. I will pay attention to my stories and the stories of others and sometimes I will succeed in giving them justice and sometimes I will not. I will keep writing despite an imperfect sentence or underdeveloped paragraph.

I will not post on a schedule. Sometimes I will disappear from social media all together because privacy is necessary and because the real work demands it. I will not post every day, but I'll post a poem that struck me, that I feel demands a reread, a pathway in the brain, any space it can find to breathe. Sometimes I will write my own and sometimes I will share it. Sometimes I will keep it to myself.

I will work and share and discuss because I owe a great deal to the women who have poured over their computer in the dark morning with a cold piece of toast by their side and an unyielding willingness to share their words and their process. Their work has both bolstered and inspired me. The connection allotted from the internet is an incredible blessing and I will always defend it.

I will not tell you how to dress or what to buy but I will show you the sameness of our longing, the depth of our resilience, I will write about work and sleep deprivation, mothers and fathers, dirty dishes, Beethoven, the scars on my belly. I will write about heroes in parking lots and ripe mangoes and lullabies. I will write about the holiness of commitment. I will attempt to write about love. I will write about blossoms and October. I will write about us.