Building Sand Castles with Words

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

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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.

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4 Responses to Building Sand Castles with Words

  1. LaDonna says:

    Thank you Kimberly for sharing your nest, your sand castle. I am busy for the next few hours but I will write more when I get home. Just wanted to say thanks before I head out. Love to you and Randy, LaDonna

  2. Ellen Harmeling says:

    Hi, Kim, I tried to respond above the line, but couldn’t. My response is that you have been building not sand castles, but building into the lives of those three precious children plus all the ones in your classes. And that building will last way longer than the sand ones – which wash away with the first wave. Keep up the good work. Sorry you can’t be here for the big unveiling. You have seen the film, as have I, but it will be good to have the writer behind the film in person. Sorrowfully, I may not be there. Tomorrow I’m having my right hip replaced. God bless you and Randy. Love, Ellen

    Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2016 21:24:30 +0000 To: ellen.bob@hotmail.com

    • It is always so good to hear from you, Ellen! Thanks for taking the time to read and write. Your words are encouraging. I wish I could be in Lake Wales, too, for the big event! We are having a showing here in West Lafayette next Wednesday – in a movie theater. It is sold out, which is so exciting! 🙂 We hope to show it again in our church the next time Mom and Dad come up to visit. I will be praying for you today as you have your surgery. And will continue to pray during your time of recovery. Much love, Kim

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