This post speaks for itself pretty much. It might be titled 'Path of a Writer.' I'm certainly not a famous writer, but I am a writer. Not a young, or even younger, writer and sometimes I think about giving it up but the feeling passes. My writing gives me a focus, a beacon, to follow along my mystery lane rambles. Before I began to try seriously to write I was a voracious reader, I'd read any printed matter my gaze fell across. And I still enjoy reading just about more than writing. The world is full of books just waiting to be read. But something keeps pushing me to write 'one more thing,' then maybe I'll quit. Or maybe not.
A clear glass pumpkin-shaped jar sits on my desk. I've crammed into it various mementoes that mark significant moments in my life.
Visible through the glass is an address label with my mother's name and last apartment address. More than twenty-five years after her death the ache of loss lingers in my heart. I'm reminded of the hardships she endured, raising eight children in deep poverty, and am very doubtful that I could have done as well as she.
Next to the label is my grandson's name tag from the family reunion Holston Valley Medical Center provided for babies who spent the first few days or weeks of their lives in the NeoNatal Intensive Care Unit. I remember my fear at first sight of his tiny, mottled body after long, anxious moments waiting for the delivering doctor to bring him into view. Or his Lilliputian form as his Mom held him for brief moments, IV tube in a matchstick arm, feeding tube in his button nose. Now a strapping father of two himself, he bears little resemblance to that preemie in the NICU incubator.
Among the jumble of mementoes is a round piece of molded plastic which covered an indicator lamp on the old cordboard where I worked as a telephone operator. The job that gave me not only independence, but the realization that I was a person in my own right, not just wife, mother, caretaker of an aged parent.
A parking permit from the local community college symbolizes my long-delayed college degree. An Allen wrench I used to assemble a large modular desk for my computer, ownership of which began another major turn for my life. A red and gold enameled key ring fob with a menorah and the word "Shalom" from my first and only trip outside of the US, to Israel.
A name tag from the Citizen's Police Academy class I took, seeking realism for my writing. Still another tag identifies me as facilitator for a home Bible Study. And finally one ringed with ivy leaves from a ten day writers retreat in North Carolina.
I found me at that retreat. I'm a writer. One who seeks to trade bits of myself through essays and columns for personal gratification and, occasionally, money. I now have books as evidence that I'm a writer. Books won't fit into the jar, but the objects it holds show me the path I took to get to the place I am now. And they provide me with inspiration for further journeys on that path.