I don’t write to be famous, I don’t write to be known, I write because I am and I want to be read. How sad to fill a room with paintings no one sees or play music no one hears. Writing is talking without sound, singing without score and dancing without movement and yet, it is all of them. It is a solitary art conjured from thought and expressed by the need to communicate.

HEAD SLAPS, SPEED BUMPS and LIGHTBULBS, one woman's WTF, oops and ah-ha moments of life.

They were published once, and as every writer knows, once is not enough.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The climb

The Tetons, the most beautiful place on earth.

When my father retired he was perfectly content to sit back and relax on his couch each morning while mentally planning what he was going to cook for dinner that night. That was it, coffee, couch and contemplation. He had worked hard for years; he deserved to defend his downtime. My mother was not like that. If she was not doing something, she believed that her gift of time on this earth was wasted. From laundry to list-writing her to-dos weighted heavily on the side of accomplishment.

I’m like my mother, if I’m not moving or doing or at least thinking of my next move or thinking of my next project, I’m not happy.

That’s right, I’m not happy.

My life is very full with family, a beautiful home and is near perfect. That we’re all blessed with health is a daily ‘grateful’ and an ‘amen’ to the fate maker. It’s the writing life which scatters the puzzle pieces.

I’ve heard actors say you’re only as good as your next movie. Well I believe I’m only as good as my next project. I’ve been published dozens and dozens of times and yet, I consider myself an amateur. My editor says I have a fan base, surely she wasn't speaking of me. I do have loyal readers, folks who seek out my column and, face to face, compliment my writing. But I know I can do better. I want to do better, I want to make more money at what I do, build a bigger name, a bigger platform, create a larger audience - but - when is enough, enough? When does the mountain climbing stop, when is the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other, enough? Will I ever get to say, that was perfect, I cannot do better, sit back on my couch and defend my downtime?

And what about that mountain?

That I may lose my way after leaving base-camp, and wander from the path, or tumble from face of the cliff and never make the summit breaks my heart in a way. Even though I know that life is all about the journey and writing is all about the climb, I’m beginning to wonder if I will ever get to see the broader view. I’m not seeking Everest, although it feels sometimes like I am, I’m not even looking to climb McKinley or Mt Washington or the treed mound in my own back yard. I’m looking for...actually I’m not sure what I’m looking for, and what I want, and maybe that’s the problem. I climb the mountain every day and I don’t even know how high I've gotten and where the damn thing monolithically is.

The dream is to make it to the top and plant a graffitied billboard with my name on it that everybody can see if they chose to look. I just hope to be young enough and healthy enough, to use the spray can, enjoy the accomplishment and toast the effort.

I have my Nepal Evos in just the right size, my karabiners and an endless supply of drive. Today the slope is manageable, the rocks firm...I climb. I am not ready for the couch just yet. Are you?


  1. I think you need to write another column - different from Enough Said. Something that allows you to focus on a particular subject that also allows you room to roam and branch out, like the lady who writes the column in a Chicago Newspaper called Mary Tyler Mom.
    Do you read her stuff? You have the same smooth writing style. Maybe the column could be called Life in a Nutshell - by Carolynn Pianta. I think that's a very catchy title. Just sayin'.

    1. I would love to be able to write deeper, more heartfelt stuff. But I realize, because of the times we live in, readers want to be entertained and maybe connect what they read with their own experiences and have a chuckle or two. That's why getting my book finished and out there is so important.

      All I have to do now is finish and find a set of eyes, with publishing-power, that loves the shit I've gone through as much as I have.

      I am absolutely going to check out Mary Tyler Mom.
      Thanks Babe.

  2. Life is not life if you're not dreaming! I just try to keep in perspective what I consider success. I don't want to ignore the things along the way that are just as much successes as the main goal.

  3. Very, VERY, wise words. Thanks Jennine. XO