The joys of integration through daily writing practice
I was on an airplane. I don’t remember where I was going, only that I was flying JetBlue, sitting in their comfy seats and feeling sorry for myself because the writing habit never stuck. It had been months since I'd opened my notebook. The memory is overwritten. I pull a black journal out of my bag, the kind I use now but hadn’t discovered yet. It creaks open as I lay it on the pull-down tray. I write the date at the top of a blank page.
A feeling of certainty rises up, of commitment, the way you feel when you hear that Rocky song. I drew a house, like kids draw it with three square sides and a triangle roof. I put a number in it. Probably 90, maybe 180, a number of days to count down every morning when I write for 15 minutes, no matter what.
That flight landed ten years ago. I still write every morning, now for an hour. People ask me “what do you write about?” I don’t understand the question. There are so many things to consider, order, list, explore, discuss with myself … the hour is rarely enough.
The house symbolized coming home to myself and that is still my goal. I've accessorized, the ritual includes drinking delicious coffee in meaningful mugs. The beans are roasted by a local company. When the weather is cool, I turn on the gas fireplace. There’s always a blanket on my lap, even in summer. While I write, I listen to myself. And that has made all the difference.
Now, I want to share what I’ve learned about this practice. I worry that I will diminish it somehow. Make no mistake: the practice is essential, like breathing. I doubt I’m alone in this. So I hope you’ll join me, if you’re so inclined. If you’re struggling, perhaps you'll find some encouragement. We can grow together.