Friday, September 14, 2007

Writer's Travel Trunk

By Janie Van Komen

It’s never really convenient to write. There are always clothes to wash, weeds to pull, people to visit, scriptures to read. I think God set it up that way so that we always have some kind of choice to make.When I was younger I believed I would eventually have time to do everything.

As I collected more and more years into my travel trunk of life I finally realized there is only so much room in that trunk. Everything won’t fit. I am more selective about the trappings of choices I throw in and also about the ones I consider and then throw away. Startled at the revelation that the trunk was filling up too fast I was angry with my past self for dumping lots of tidbits of things I was only interested in for about ten minutes or ten days. Why did I waste all that precious space in time?

Then the writer side of me poked a pencil into a book and as I began to catalogue the contents, stories both real and imagined interrupted the mechanics of the record keeping. The record keeping was my excuse of acceptability to those who prefer I wash dishes or run errands, but the imagined interruptions rejuvenated me.

This exercise of putting my hand to paper is just as vital as keeping my family tree properly trimmed up. The choices of my past rise out of my trunk of life and reappear in some story like coins a magician pulls out of ears and other unlikely places. The choices, whether good or bad, are vital to making my life trunk valuable to a future somebody. My explanations, tangents, and imaginations spun out of those choices are my interpretations of the journey of my mortality.

It’s never really convenient to write but if I don’t, my fear is that somebody else will sort through my travel trunk of life and write what they think my story was all about.

1 comment:

Anne Bradshaw said...

This blog hit a chord for me. I dragged years of journals across the Atlantic (or rather, sent them in a packing case with other stuff too big to fly), so I could stash them away in a basement closet for some future generation to stash away in their basement closet.

And I still keep writing more that get added to the pile each year. Good thing it's a big cupboard. It's my travel trunk of life.