Tag Archives: growing up

Write a Letter

To an old friend:

Remember how often we’d write to each other, pen-pal? Your letters stamped from exotic places, arriving in the mailbox on sunny mornings. I would trot down the driveway to check the mail, sometimes disappointed with impersonal printed business, sometimes cheered with a wrapped message that promised to be a delight to read.

Remember how easily the words came in those days, before there was such thing as a word count, a “good story”, structure, and grammar? Pooh. In those days there were books. In those days we told each other true stories, and wide-eyed we’d read them like the most gripping young-adult novel, except- these were real, written just for us, for our eyes only.

We wrote to each other. We wrote freely, as we were moved to. Unsupervised, unrequired writing, pure joy. Before I knew that “it’s” isn’t possessive, and before I knew what paragraphs are good for. It didn’t matter. I learned, and my letters were plenty readable.

For years I wrote to you. You wrote to me. Preferring paper and pen to face-to-face talk, I would wander the hillside like Frederick the mouse, gathering colors and sounds, images of plants in the sunshine. I would bring them back, in my mind, my camera, my words. Forest air in my lungs, forest dirt on my boots, blackberry scratches on my knees, sweat on my forehead. Alone, I would gather words for my next letter, and when pen met paper I would tell you stories of the places I’d been.

Write back soon!

Love,
Your Pen-Pal

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No One to Blame

I can’t believe this happened.

How rude and inconsiderate!

The jar is nearly empty.

Someone else must have done it.

There’s not enough for lunch

It’s too salty at the bottom.

I just want some peanut butter.

Blast. Forgot I live alone.

When I Grow Up

To-be-a-DENTISTUp and through college, it seemed to me that the ideal thing was to know what you wanted to do with your life and then head for it. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a question everyone gets asked, and when you give multiple answers, it somehow seems less ideal than a decisive, “I want to be a dentist!”

The truth is, no matter how passionate you are about your chosen field of study, it won’t be enough to satisfy you. Creative people in particular need variety to grow on and inspire their work. Screenwriters will tell you that you can’t just be a screenwriter—it’ll sap your life energy. Variety really is the spice of life.

If you know what you want to do, by all means, go for it. If you don’t, then experiment. And even if you’ve found your calling at this point in life, take a break to pay attention to your hobbies. You’ll be better prepared for whatever it is you’re made to do as a Person of Many Interests and Talents.

Seasons of Change

Spring has long been my favorite season. I love to feel the aura of growth everywhere, of the world waking up. Even at night I can sense the change through the temperature and tone of the wind.

Now it’s late summer, and change is coming again. The sun’s light is clearer with lower humidity, so everything looks brighter. The slanting rays will get much lower before the leaves fall, but this year I can feel that the warm days are numbered, and it seems the plants and insects know as well. In spring the change is more sudden, but fall’s magic is just as strong.

moglosmall
Morning glory, dill seeds, and cilantro blossoms in my garden.

These are the two turning points of the year. I think they’re the most spellbinding.

Oddly, when seasons change in my own life, they don’t get a warm welcome. After a few years of college and attempting to be a grown-up, I know that events I feel the most apprehension about are the ones that change me the most and result in the most learning. Driving a car. Figuring out how to manage a film shoot come rain or shine and only one chance. Attacking unexplored subject material. I fear the unknown, but after looking back on the new experiences I’ve survived, I see that excursions into uncharted territory yield the strongest memories—they make me feel more alive.

Seasons of change are beautiful. They come in bursts. And just like Autumn’s leaves of fire, they don’t last for long.

morninglight2
Stereopair with sumacs!