Sunday, January 6

splitting the rocks

A Sort of a Song by William Carlos Williams
Let the snake wait under
his weed
and the writing
be of words, slow and quick, sharp
to strike, quiet to wait,
-- through metaphor to reconcile
the people and the stones.
Compose. (No ideas
but in things) Invent!
Saxifrage is my flower that splits
the rocks. 
moon and trees as photographed by Luke
 If you've been following this blog for any length of time you may have noticed that 2012 proved to be largely silent in this space.  It wasn't that there weren't things to share: sewing projects abounded, memorable moments with Wren were aplenty, and my thoughts about the world were far too numerous to even imagine expressing thoroughly.  But I struggled with how or why I would share those things in a blog space.

I'm all too aware of the tendency we (especially we women) have to compare and out-do and out-craft and out-cook and out-travel and out-pretty one another.  I am familiar with the feelings of inadequacy and inferiority that come so easily when reading about another woman's skill or adorable family or ability to wear skinny jeans.  It hurts.  Which is truly lamentable because we stand to learn so very much from one another, and we have access to so many tools that might encourage and inspire one another.  But last year- when I read through my own blog posts- I tried to imagine how other people might read or perceive my life.  In the end I was embarrassed that they'd see me gloating or bragging or even worse- seeming really lame.  So I stopped writing here.  But I haven't stopped being here.
I struggle personally with a lot of fear; sometimes it feels overwhelmingly debilitating.  Motherhood, this newest chapter in my life, has increased the number of things I fear exponentially.  But it has also taught me about the beauty in the mundane-ness of our lives that gives me so much hope for us all.  It's now 2013, and I've decided to take my writing in a new, more honest, more vulnerable direction.  The truth is I'm going to write (have been writing), whether it's in my own journal or here in this public forum.  And I'm going to create (have been creating), whether I snap photographs to post here or not.  
I want to share these parts of me with anyone else whose heart races at the thought of creating something beautiful, or who tears up at something as cheesy as the way a baby's face glows next to an evening fire.  And beyond that, I want to know what other women and other people find inspiring and lovely and wonderful and life-giving.  I want to celebrate life with you all.  And that is why I write here.

Or, to put it another way, the act of writing here is for me like a mnemonic device (remember those?  the weird tricks you use in school to remember information for an exam?).  Each day I hear stories on the news that clench and twist my insides and evoke such fear for my family and for the world we all share.  I have found that when I only let in those stories I believe that is all there is to life- that the world is nothing but destruction and loss and pain and cruelty.  But if I take the time to write down the things I've experienced each day that evoke hope and gratitude, I am reminded that life is so much more than simply suffering.  That children grow and learn by the minute, that birds perch and sing, that fires warm, that food strengthens, that love heals.
My 2013 Mnemonic Jar of Hope: where I will jot and collect the moments that remind me of the good.


  1. love that idea joy--i've often considered the calendar journal and love the idea of writing things down daily (or semi-regularly).

    1. Wow! What a beautiful way to remember and archive the good stuff. I might try something like that if time and cool vintage postcards present themselves :) I can't take the credit for the canning jar idea. I can't even remember where I saw it, though I'm sure it was on Facebook or something like that.

  2. This is a great idea, Joy. I too feel this fear and have gotten bogged down in the negative news stories that we all hear. Especially since having Emerson. Thanks for sharing your thoughts because so many of us have similar ones but have remained quiet.

    1. Thanks Laura- It's comforting to know I'm not alone in these feelings and fears. I really love the idea of women and moms keeping each other encouraged and hopeful in the face of the overwhelming stuff.