Wednesday, August 29, 2012

in which I discover myself a writer

This morning I attempted to mow the overgrown grass around my garden beds.  I inadvertantly crossed over an in-ground beehive with the mower, and this greatly displeased the colony.  Two stings later on my leg, I was happy to leave them to their buzzy lives. But I had to wonder if they knew what they were doing when they attacked me, was it an instinctual act of aggression?  Or is stinging simply a bee habit?  And really what is the difference?

I recently came across this quote by Confucious

"Men's natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them."

I have gotten out of the habit of writing on this blog.  I took a vacation, and when I returned I entered a busy last few weeks of summer, working on home and family and new projects. It feels futile sometimes, getting a blog post done.  And all the other writing I have taken on is consuming my time... Funky Junk blog, picture book manuscript, morning pages, journal, and now a new cooperative blog I am starting with 3 other Ithaca writers/illustrators. Despite the fact that this blog has fallen away from me, I still sit and wonder what I will write here. 

I don't profess to know the best techniques in writing.  I cannot offer great advice to others.  I do not brush with famous writer society or partake in smooth engagements to report back on.  I am not into enticing readers with contests and hype and more exclamation points than there are pages. Well, I guess I know what I will not write on this blog.

Thus far ,this blog has been a great practice in thinking about writerly topics, expanding my horizons, reviewing books, and stretching myself to write haiku and longer essays.  It has been an exercise for me, for my growth, for my writing path, for the handfull of people who stop by to read.  It would be easy to call it simply one person's habit in a swirl of millions of blogs.

The bee colony is full of individuals carrying out bee habits and doing the prescribed bee protocol. Those bees were not questioning their true nature or whether they were good bees or if the right thing to do was to sting the giant loud intruder mauling their home. They just followed through with what habit taught them.  And the ache in my leg where the skin still throbs will not soon forget the two who stung me.
 
Maybe I ought to take a lesson from the bees.  Stop thinking about the bigger picture, and just settle into the habits I am creating.  This blog, for all the things it is not, has been a way for me to get clear about this journey I am on.  The one in which I discover myself as a writer.  Maybe, despite their sting,  or perhaps because of it, the bees have it right about this one.

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