Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Then What Happened?

Alas, as I feared, free time and no thoughts! My fear says, "See, it is the busy life that keeps you full of thoughts to share!" My wisdom says, "Stay, sit a while; thoughts will come." My fear says, "You have no patience, who are you kidding?" My wisdom says, "The well is deep. It takes time to access it."

Sunday we packed our beach gear and headed up town. We parked our bikes at the bank. There were at least fifty bikes there thanks to the fine weather and it being Mother's Day. The udon shop was busy so we settled in for a wait after the Mule wrote our name in Japanese on the waiting list. The Moose was unhappy to have to wait. After a bit, I went over to chat. I asked him, "Have you ever heard the story 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears'?" Grumpily he replied, "Yess." "Well, have you ever heard the story of 'The Furry Sea Otter'?" He sat up, interested. I began by thinking of friendship and adventure. He snuggled in and listened. His consistent refrain was, "Then what happened?"

The furry sea otter's name was Billy. He had a friend, a sea turtle, named Charlie. Charlie disappeared one night in a storm. Billy search for Charlie, but he did not find him. Billy met a duck, Flynn, who promised to ask after Charlie during his travels. Flynn eventually found Charlie in the Galapagos Islands. He told Charlie that Billy missed him a great deal. Charlie asked Flynn when he returned to please tell Billy to come to the Galapagos Islands. Eventually Billy meets a Tahitian sailor named Tiki who offers to take Billy to the islands. Billy and Charlie are reunited and begin to travel with Tiki on all sorts of adventures.

I was impressed with the Moose's interest in my telling him a story. We read stories or tell stories from when they were little or we were little, but I have not made up a story. Having an audience makes you dig for some zaniness to keep them enthralled. Telling the story was fun, and it made me realize it doesn't have to be fully formed. Alas, the counter opened up, and we had our turn to eat lunch. The Moose peppered me with more questions about the kind of boat being used and whether a sea otter could really swim that far. I responded with "when using your imagination" you have a story license- with a story license you are free to make any thing happen.

Puttering about today in my attempts to use some quiet time to think and read I came across this passage in Brenda Ueland's If You Want to Write, "... art is a generosity, i.e., you tell somebody something not to show off, but because you want to share it with them." I immediately thought of the tale above and how it came into being because the audience was hungry for it. It also clarified why I like to write the blog versus keeping a journal- the audience. I can share my thoughts with someone. Those who have responded to the blog have been generally enthusiastic and kind- encouragers of art. The journal hasn't been touched in a long time. I drag them around and think, "I will get to it eventually." I tried writing what I am grateful for but within a few weeks I abandoned that. I tried jotting down stories about my day with the kids to save the memories, but regurgitating events didn't motivate me to keep at it. Posting a note to the internet with the awareness that it will be read, allows me to share some of my story. Sometimes, I find that what I intended to share and what is received are different, but it helps me understand when my writing has been effective and when it has not. I am learning and so I like that.

It feels a bit lonesome today- three free hours of time! I finally get quiet time and I feel concerned that I should be doing something- running about wearing myself out or emptying out the cabinet and once and for all figuring out what to keep in it. HA! That, like my "To Do" list that says, "Sharpen Knives, Tune Piano," will be there for a while. It may take time to adjust to the actual experience of stillness and quiet in my day, but it is a beginning.

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