Blogging once a week is going to be a test of my patience with myself. ADD brain makes it impossible to focus on one thing for very long, it’s usually a strength of mine – juggling is my natural state. I have often thought that the relentless overscheduling of myself was a survival plan for my brain which gets bored of even things I love after just a few minutes. I’m not busy – I’m coping. I’m learning as I go.
The thought of blogging weekly gave rise to a few minutes of scattered thoughts back to the first time my mom ever brought home a computer. I was in 5th grade. We were a single income family, barely scraping by but she was able to bring home an old one from work and I remember, even without the internet being a real THING yet, feeling like the entire world had opened up.
I immediately began writing a book, of course.
My inner critic knew my book wasn’t good enough, but I was absolutely sure that I was going to write the next bestselling series.
And for a long time that was the dream. I mean, the topics changed, the formats changed, throughout high school I was a poet. Paid! I’d write love poetry for friends who were pining over or trying to win back puppy loves. Then I was accepted to Rowan’s Journalism program – which was fun, in theory. Like literally, in all the communications theory and semantics classes it was all fun and games, and then I took Newswriting 1 and kept getting C’s (unacceptable by my standards and my professors) because I just seriously COULD. NOT. GRASP the notion of objectivity. I kept thinking I could, and then my overly polished and poured over article about a local city council meeting would come back with teacher’s writing all over it. I rolled with the punches at first – trying to learn – and then I rolled right over to the English Department across the parking lot. It was in that department that I met a professor who would ultimately give me some great advice – which is the point of this blog post, finally.
Sometime near the point where I was graduating this esteemed professor and I went out for lunch, and were discussing my plans for the future. I had already been community organizing for quite a bit at that point, and was looking to work in women’s shelters in North Jersey, where I could live with my parents a bit longer (this did not happen, at all, and it’s funny because that’s happened a few times in my life…where I’ve taken quick turns off what I thought was a straight and well paved road.)
Back to the point…
We were talking about the notion of a degree in literature being worthless – and how I had found myself there, despite all of my other interests, because of my love of writing. And she said something along the lines of – sometimes we have to go out into the world and do something else, and then write about it.
And I’ve kept that with me.
I’ve been doing alot. The juggling sure, but also, that statement was made to me almost 20 years ago! And in that time I’ve lived in the city and the country, organizing people, building gardens, learning about herbs, having children, running a business, getting entrenched in environmental nonprofits and citizen science initiatives and town politics, doing the real deep, dark spiritual work and like, SO MUCH MORE, personally and professionally. And the whole time I’ve been writing. Sometimes more and sometimes less. Sometimes for months only the structured pleas of appeals and grant applications, other times a flurry of personal writing mixed with art and overflowing
emotions. I have totes of journals, and scraps of paper everywhere. I even write on my walls and floors, doodling small statements as permanent reminders to be good, or make pumpkin muffins.
Since this is The Great Full Garden I’ll try to keep the blog posts about what most folks will see as relevant – plants, soil, earth’s systems, growing food and medicine. But I do have to admit that part of me is excited to be taking up writing in a professional way – outside of the world of fundraising. In my personal writing I switch between prose and poetry fluidly, and I’ll try to make sure my ramblings stay readable. But I imagine the blog will grow somewhat how my garden grows – a bit unruly.
Thanks for reading!