Writing Discoveries

What would’ve been these opening words were ready to appear on this screen. Then I finished reading the news online and told myself it was time to write. Anger and fear seemed to control me. I realized that my experience of reading the morning news had changed. Change seemed an important word. A memory came to mind, of a national political change, in August 1974, when Richard Nixon resigned. The memory of hearing the news felt as if the intervening decades had disappeared. We were camping on our new property in the San Juan Islands, without radio. Our neighbor, now dead, whose A-frame cabin was being built, came running over to tell us the news, which all these years later I recall how happy he was about. These weren’t the sentences I’d planned on writing. I’ve no idea what will follow. Our neighbor became an important figure in my life. As soon as he could, he retired as a public school teacher in Los Angeles and moved to his cabin on the small island where we were his neighbors. Over the years, when I was a teenager, and then a twenty-something-year-old, and my life seemed without a future, I made the trip, sometimes alone, to our acre of land in the outer islands of the San Juans and knew that he was there, nearby, in silence, living his life. These last words, living his life, also seem important. Life isn’t easy to live. Perhaps part of why I write every day is to help myself discover how to live each day. I’ve written enough sentences. Today won’t wait for me.

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