Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bad Blogger

I’ve been a bad blogger the past month or so, and was finally shocked into action when the brutally honest “Site Meter” showed a drastic drop in people checking in over the last week.

Mea culpa. I got hideously busy. I know. A lame excuse

But I don't do hideously busy well. Pretty much on a nightly basis, I was having those packing dreams I always have when I get overwhelmed by my List of Things To Do in The Real World. I’m packing to go somewhere, but I’m not ready. Maybe I realize the plane leaves earlier than I thought and I’m packing frantically, throwing anything and everything into the suitcase just hoping to make it in time; maybe my traveling companions are waiting, irritated, watching me run around grabbing everything I need. Maybe I don’t know what I need; maybe I can’t find what I need.

Sometimes, strangely, these dreams end up in my college dorm room, with the realization that I’ve forgotten to go to my classes all semester. What this has to do with packing, I probably don’t even want to know.

If nothing else, I could have blogged about my weird dreams. But I didn’t. Instead, I thought about how what a bad, bad blogger I was. I thought about many cool opportunities for blogging that I’d missed and how I really, really needed to start blogging again. But...not blogging.

All the while ignoring my own stern advice to students who claim to have writers’ block: thinking is the kiss of death for any kind of writing. The more you don’t write, the more you don’t write...

Until you haven’t written for so long that writing seems impossible.

I always know I’m in trouble when I’m reduced to taking my own advice.

In any case, here I am. Blogging. Who-hoo! And not just because I felt bad about not blogging. I like blogging. It makes me happy. Sometimes it even makes me feel like I used to feel when I wrote poems. Like I’ve captured something, small but real.

And I love the idea that there’s someone out there who might like to read what I’m thinking.

Taking Louise for a walk today, it occurred to me that the idea of the begging bowl works just fine for blogging, too—and I started to pay attention. Here’s a little of what the quirky cosmos of Northern Michigan dropped into mine:

Caterpillars. They’re beautiful: black, with turquoise racing stripes on both and electric yellow dots all along their backs. They’re everywhere. They road is full of them, thousands of them, all crawling in different directions. Where are they going? Do they know?

Dead sumac bushes, their twisted white branches like skeletons’ arms reaching for the sky.

A gargantuan lilac bush, the scent of the purple blooms heady, indescribable.

The memory the lilacs brought: Wishbone, a funny little beagle, leaping through a field of purple thistle like a dolphin.

A three-storey house under construction and, in the middle of the neatly mown but empty lot across from it, a little brown birdhouse perched on a pole.

Two fat robins doing the dance of loooooove.

Louise let loose from the leash, zooming down the dirt road toward home, her ears flapping.

My red Jeep, gleaming in the sun.

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