You are lucky to be one of those people who wishes to build sand castles with words… This is what separates artists from ordinary people: the belief deep down in our hearts, that if we build our castles well enough, somehow the ocean won’t wash them away. I think this a wonderful kind of person to be. ~ Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird
My last blog entry was written over a year ago. The entry before that was a year before that. I stopped writing in my blog regularly over two years ago.
And I miss it.
I didn’t have a huge following. I was lucky if I had thirty people read what I wrote, and just a handful of people (if any) would comment. But that’s not why I wrote (see this entry, my first ever blog post, for more about that idea).
As I recently have been skimming through and re-reading some of my posts, I realize that my writing is more for me than anyone else. I’m building sand castles in hopes that the waves of life won’t wash my memories away.
I also write to capture and grasp thoughts and ideas that are swirling around within my head. These thoughts are grains of sand. I take a handful here, a scoop there – carefully chosen and sifted. I add some water and sculpt and craft until I somehow make sense of my ponderings. These sand castles I’m building are made from more than just memories, they are made with little pieces of me: my thoughts, my ponderings, my soul. I need to grasp them while I can, turn them into words, and sculpt them into sand castles.
Anne Lamott also writes in her book, Bird by Bird:
Even if you never publish a word, you have something important to pour yourself into. Writing and reading…deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul.
After a two-plus year hiatus in regularly writing and capturing my thoughts and ponderings, I realize how much writing reflectively has been good for my soul. When I wrote here on this blog, I had something to pour myself into. It expanded my sense of life and gave me a place to notice, ponder, and remember. It fed my soul. And though I do it mainly for me, I have to admit that having a handful of visitors was nice. And the occasional comment was so encouraging. It’s like having passersby on a beach who stop and admire the sand castle you’ve created; the one you would have made whether anyone stopped to admire it or not.
…writing can give you the pleasures of the woodpecker, of hollowing out a hole in a tree where you can build your nest and say ‘This is my niche, this is where I live now, this is where I belong.’ (Lamott)
This blog was my nest. It’s where I lived for a while. I was a woodpecker, hollowing out my hole, finding my niche. And so, slowly, I’m going to attempt to return here to my hollow and peck away a bit.
I’m going to build some more sand castles. Because my soul needs it.