Mid-January already. Annie Dillard said famously that how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. My life for twenty-some years has been spent on children, food, books, plain work. Now at this pivot point on my timeline, all the questions are returning: how will I spend the rest of my life? When you are very young you see the future like a grand drama with countless possibilities, and you are sure whatever part you play in it will be exciting and huge and important. But when I look forward now, I see the future like a long road, unfurling patiently, and I hope the rest of my journey along it will be quiet, peaceful, gentle and good. Not boring, mind you. But I have lived enough to be thankful for a lack of drama. *smile*
Some friends and I have been talking recently about the changing we do, the way we grow behind the scenes, become other people. Recently I have been spending a lot of time in the archives of the blog, choosing posts to save and print. It's been interesting to revisit my old self. I've written my way through a decade here and the journey from mid-30s to mid-40s is not insignificant. I read my own words and wonder at that woman, at the way she viewed life, at how confidently she wrote down advice, thoughts, ideas. I feel alternately embarrassed by her and tender towards her. Today I just laughed. She was on the way to becoming me, but who would have guessed? I have kept most of the posts, even the ones I cringe over, because they are marks of a journey and they are part of my story, the good and ugly of it alike.
In a similar, though different, vein of thought, I wonder if you read this article about the difference in British and American stories? Oh, that was eye-opening to me, and so true: our histories and our landscapes have led us to different types of stories, different types of heroes. (I much prefer the British approach. I have my British ancestry to explain that, I suppose. And also why I have absolutely chafed against the simpering, do-good heroes of evangelicalism. Give me some goblins and gods, some magic and wonder, please!) To follow that article up I read Laurus, which is Russian, and Orthodox, and had a look at an entirely different type of story-telling and heroics. (If you've read Dostoyevsky's "The Idiot" you'll have an idea of what I mean.) It's been inspiring me to dig deep into my own knowing, let my own place whisper its memories, let my own path tell its secrets. Sometimes the familiar needs to be drawn out and turned over, examined with new eyes.
Other things inspiring:
Thanks, Arundhati (an old post of Kyce's that I returned to this week.)