Over eight years ago, I started writing in this little corner of the internet with nothing more than a silly name and a struggle to understand my mother’s dementia.
I wrote nearly every day. It was as if some unseen floodgate opened. A tidal wave of stored-up words poured out.
Three years later, at Laity Lodge, I shyly told a then-new-now-old friend about my blog.
“How often do you write?” she asked.
“Every day,” I replied.
“Every day?!” she repeated.
I realized then that blogging every day isn’t normal. Or expected. I started giving myself more permission to skip days.
Over the years, though, I wrote about my mother’s decline, my father’s health struggles, my brother’s death, my mother’s death, my children, my grandchildren, my husband. I wrote about writing. I wrote about spiritual things. I wrote when I was angry, sad, confused, grieving, joyful, content, challenged.
It’s rare when I write these days. I have 255 drafts in my draft folder today.
I start. I stop. I think it’s all stupid. A few days pass, and I repeat the process. 255 times.
The exception to my lack of posting has been April’s A-to-Z Challenge. Give me a task and a schedule, and I’m much more likely to get something done.
Lately, in the mornings, I’ve been thinking on the Beatitudes (Matthew 5 — the Blessed-are-the’s). I’ve also been doing some local research.
Yesterday I picked up a copy of Cooperstown High School’s 1922 yearbook, called “The Pathfinder.” A graduating student had rewritten the Beatitudes for Cooperstown students:
I don’t know what a V.P. in deportment is and I don’t think the punctuality prize is awarded anymore. But the Ruggles Essay contest — where every student in the Junior class writes an essay on the topic of their choice and the top essays are read to the entire student body who votes on the winner — is still going on today. (The earliest account of the Ruggles’ Essay contest that I could find was 1896, but it could precede that date.)
My favorite of Emily’s Beatitudes was #6 — “Blessed are they who knowing nothing do not give you wordy evidence of the fact” — probably because it’s one of my biggest fears as a writer.
All this is to say that for June, I’ll be sharing an A-to-Z of beatitudes.
Or at least I’ll be trying.
Either my draft folder will expand to 281 or I’ll give you wordy evidence of the nothing I know.