Thursday, May 23, 2013


"Writing is the way I ground myself, and it's what keeps me sane. Writing is the way I try and make sense of my life, try to find meaning in accident, reasons why what happens happens."

And exerpt from Thinking About Memoir by Abigail Thomas. As I perused the shelves of my library earlier this week, my eyes fell upon this tiny book with cozy cover. Those are my favorite kinds of books. Not the ones that everyone is talking about or the best sellers. I like the ones that call out to you from their place on the highest shelf where they have sat unnoticed. Those are the best kinds. Thinking About Memoir may be a well-known book, but not to me. I had never heard of it, but Abigail, it seems, wrote it just for me. She did, afterall, use my words....or I used her words.

"I've been writing/journaling since I was 7 and it's always been my therapy. Sometimes I sit and think about life: both the good and the bad and a wave rushing, crashing tsunami of emotion and thoughts and joys and confusions sweep me off my feet. That is when I pick up a pen and notebook and land safely on my feet again. Writing brings me clarity and helps me process. It makes me feel grounded and sure."
--from The Linden Tree Isle

"I never know what I feel until I write it down and read my heart on paper. Somehow that brings clarity. Writing calms the storm of emotion raging in my soul... I am  feeling many things today and I'm trying to make sense of it all."
--My journal

Yes, writing helps me make sense. It grounds me. And, I have said many times that it keeps me sane.

Abigail went on to say:

"Sometimes just holding a pen in my hand and writing milk butter eggs sugar calms me."

Having a pen in one hand (a good pen, like my blue, felt tip Papermate Flair) and a notebook in the other makes me feel safe. Even if it's just a grocery list I am writing, seeing the ink bleed onto the paper and into words soothes me. Maybe that is why I fill a steno pad every other week with doodles and list and streams of consiousness. It's my medicine. The antidote to stress....calming.

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