So I visited my parents’ house last weekend, and awaiting me when I arrived was a huge box of my stuff from childhood. I have a very documented life, thanks to the fact I have written fairly religiously in journals and compiled at least a dozen photo albums. Saturday night as my dad and I waited for my mom to finish getting ready so we could attend the annual wild game dinner he read me (as he likes to do) part of a Wendell Barry essay while I busted open one of my old locked journals since I couldn’t remember the combination. He finished reading me something about nurturing and sexuality and women and men and land (you know, Wendell Barry stuff) and I flipped through my baby-blue, unicorn covered journal, cleared my throat, and said “And now, a word from twelve-year-old Courtney. On August 13, 1990 – ‘Sigh. Another day and still no kitten. Mom says to be patient, but it’s difficult.'” I closed the journal and both my dad and I looked at Misty, my/their 6 1/2 pound, balding, once-feral cat. Misty was surely one of the more disappointing kittens and cats a girl could get, seeing as to how she hated people and didn’t truck with cuddling, playing or doing anything cat-like other than stalking family members and our spaniels, leaping on us when we least expected it and sinking her teeth into our legs or peeing on our pillows. Now that she’s older, and on a variety of supplements on hormone replacements because the vet refuses to put her down and takes advantage of my mother’s good nature, she likes laps and treats and being brushed, although she’s not opposed to leaping on top of Ty, the Brittany Spaniel, and giving him a good nip once a day or so. Still, as far as cats go, she was altogether a disappointment and my dad laughed at that journal entry, thought it was hilarious. No where before or after do I mention wanting a cat or receiving a cat or any other desire or reaction and since I wrote nearly every day I’m guessing this must have been a whim my mother indulged, which is unlike her and would make for a nice memory if Misty hadn’t turned out to be such a bitch.
Anyway. Blogging is so weird. I kept thinking, oh, I need to explain why I’ve been gone, but really, I don’t. I mean, technically, only I should care when I post and when I don’t but two reasons prevent me from this laissez-faire attitude. The first is the fact that I’m part of an albeit small but wonderful blogging community. When one of my favorite bloggers doesn’t post for a day or two I grow a little nervous and wonder what he/she is doing. Are they okay? Are their spouses okay? Do they still have the internet? If they GAVE UP blogging, surely they would write a goodbye post, yes? The blogging community is mostly what makes blogging so satisfying – it’s a place to have discussions that you can’t always have in real life. Secondly, many of my friends and family read my blog and to that end they worry about me when I don’t blog because it’s a decent way of keeping tabs on me without, say,having to call or email. Which I am actually fine with. So, since Valentine’s Day things have been sort of screwy – lots of crazy job stuff which I don’t EVEN want to talk about because it truly makes me sound like a lunatic, and then I went to Alpena to visit my folks and I thought I would blog there ( I really wanted to tell you all about my night at the Wild Game dinner but I think that’s a subject for another time, now) but their internet access was out, which they seem perfectly okay with, and then when I returned home I had to finish the revisions on my piece for the literary journal and S. left for a long business trip and getting him off took some time and, so, well, here we are, February 22, deep in the heart of college basketball season and nearing the Oscars and who knows how we got here?
So, let’s see. I turned in my revisions (and I’ll let you know the literary journal once it’s actually published, just in case this turns out badly) and even if the editor hates my changes the experience was priceless. I’m really happy with the way the piece turned out – the language is tighter but more importantly, by getting rid of the essay’s reflections the whole thing turns much more on place and scene and it has a lively feel to it. Working with an editor is so different than working with a workshop, but if this piece does end up published it will certainly be a testament to the possibilities of workshop as I workshopped it with two different groups, and it will also show that it really is possible to revise something no less than twenty times.
On the reading front, I’m still reading the same two damned books I have been all year and it’s getting old, but both take time and thought and I’m not so much reading steadily as I am reading a chapter, putting it down, thinking about it, returning to it, etc. It’s just the space I happen to be in right now, but it is getting a bit old so I need to put more concentrated effort into finishing these books and moving on to others.
I’m finally back and running regularly again and it’s going well. Right now, in all areas of my life, I seem to have a of momentum going and I’d like to keep it that way. Writing every day and running every day now finally feel like just things I do, rather than things I must force myself to do, and I hope to keep both that way.
I feel like I could keep writing and writing – it’s what steadies me and since currently things feel a bit turbulent, and I have some fairly big decisions before me, putting my fingers to the keys and talking to all of you has a soothing effect, but I should stop now and catch up on my own blog reading. Only once I’m done with that will I really feel balanced again. More soon!