Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's such a small thing

But I rediscovered my love of writing, and hey--I thought I'd lost it. It's been five days since my one year anniversary of moving to the NW. I've spent a lot of time staring out the window, listening to the birds.

I ended up here because my husband is right up the street--my mom said she wasn't surprised. During the two weeks I spent with her, I made the trip out here six times. It's a nice place. The Cascades rise at the end of the road and when the clouds lift, Rainier fills the horizon. There are rivers, creeks and lakes--pine trees tall enough to make your neck hurt. And birds.

I've always been a birder.

Today I saw an owl out behind work. Yesterday there was a red-tailed hawk. My bird feeder attracts everything from stellar jays to dark-eyed Oregon juncos, and occasionally I get woodpeckers.

I live out on the edge of a subdivision that stopped growing back in the nineties. One street over the roads stop short. Signs saying they'll be cut have long since faded. Huge trees catch the mist and snow. During the day, the leaves twinkle and sigh and I can hear the water feature in the yard across the street. I'm not used to silence--I've lived in a city for decades. When the frogs sing in the evening, I stop what I'm doing and listen.

My window looks out on the bird feeder and some trees. I've spent hours staring out the window trying to get my hands to work, because--y'know? A writer writes. I've written and written, and hated each bit of horribly awkward prose and crippled images. There was a period when words flowed like sewage, spilling out over my screen like anger. Bad. All of it. Then it was time to revise and nothing came because it was bad. Garbage in, garbage out.

Yesterday, I stared out the window and watched the juncos and said, "maybe if I start at the beginning and write what I want instead of what I should?" The beginning fixed itself and was good.

Later in the day, I went and cleaned the big bird feeder out by the fence. I'm going to put out finch food.


Jeanna said...

Do you love writing? I don't know if I do, it's just something that if I stop, it gets so much harder to pound out, not to mention it's just wrong not to.
The Sterns you say, I think you mentioned them before. That would be a dream job, but I'd lose the sig other or I couldn't pick up UPS guys.

jodi said...

I think I do love writing, just that love--like other things--sometimes gets pushed aside for all the stuff that go along with living. Making money, paying bills, children and cleaning the toilet (usually both and sometimes with an auger).

I think you'd make a great Diners, Drive-ins and dives kind of reporter, Jeanna. I've always wished the Sterns would have done a show, but they simply published the columns they did for Gourmet in book format.

Too bad you can't get together with the other food bloggers and do the same kind of book. :)

Jeanna said...

Thanks, Jodi, I could see doing that, but don't think the viewing public likes 'em fat and over forty, maybe the Food Network is an exception. If only people still read the paper and magazines.
Don't know but a few foodies and they're on the sweet end of the biz.
Word ver is "glaran" as in I'm glaran at this computer screen and it's glaran back at me.

Jennifer McKenzie said...

Sometimes it's the silence that finally leads to that moment. You know the moment. The moment when the words come out gently, easily. When the scene resolves without angst or frustration. When the emotion is real and the characters make sense.
Those moments are so rare, but, for me, they've ALWAYS come after a period of writer silence.
I respect the quiet. It's where brilliance lies.

Alice Audrey said...

I only love writing now and then. Golden moments when what's in my head is better than anything I can find outside of it and the words flow freely keep me going.

BTW, this post is a nice bit of writing. Very literary.

deanna said...

Lovely post; it brought a lump to my throat. A birder friend of mine takes me hiking and points out every bird you mentioned, only I usually miss them. I love writing, and it's so hard I hate it. But the love wins out most days.

jodi said...

Thank you, Jen. I think I've finally reached that point of quite (and I'm going to try to keep it)

Thank you, Alice. I'm starting to have literary ambitions (don't tell anyone) :)

Hey, Deanna...thank you. I think my love for writing was fighting a loosing battle. I'm glad I found it again. Sometimes, it's out in plain sight and just overlooked. :)

Jeanna said...

dark-eyed Oregon juncos would be a good name for a band. thanks for the prose btw

Wordly said...

kara gnome at divas, here.

I'm so glad you found your love of writing again, and I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find this was a lovely catalyst to new and better things, too. Hopefully new beginnings all the way around :)

I already have instigated a group of us to go on a Kirkland Warbler tour in May :). Since I've been in Michigan, I've seen a baldheaded eagle, a flock wild geese, three crows, and a hawk. And heard a bird that was very, very, very loud, but I never did see it. School Alarm Bird, I guess.

I love it here; I never knew that trees have such a smell--like tree body odor or something. Wonderful. I can't get over how beautiful it all is.

Jeanna said...

The whole spoon candy thing, weird. I think it's pudding with a chocolate coating from what I found. You find anything else? I remember something like that w/layers out of a box.
So you've found inspiration in the bottom of a basket of cheese curds?