Monday, July 02, 2007

But I Thought About You All Day

It was sad to say goodbye to Pam and the dogs. Can you see the little one peeking his head under the railing, right next to MaryEllen? Rose is also peeking under the railing. Fenton seems to be looking for a horse to chase.

It was a long day on the road, and it's midnight now, so I'm really relating to your post about all the good intentions you had for documenting your Vermont weekend, Allison. There are a lot of things that occur to me on a 10-hour solo drive, so you can bet I had a lot to write on the blog at about... 5:00. Here are a few of them, just so you get a taste:

cattleguards and cottonwood, falling rocks, evergreens, open range,
crumbling two-lane highway with blacktop patches, triple-digit temperatures,
string cheese and wasabi peas,
mesa, magpie, moose

There was more, of course. I was thinking about mix CDs and guerilla art, and how if I died tomorrow I would have to say that was a damn fine life I had. I was thinking about traveling alone and being a herd animal, and I was thinking about writing, I'm always thinking about writing.

Especially when I should be sleeping.

Bed at the SLC Marriott

But before I go, I do want to say one thing. I really did think about You all day today. Not just you, Allison, but all our blog readers. "Lurkers" is a term that bloggers use for people who read but don't comment. I don't really like the word, actually, because I appreciate the fact that people read the blog, and don't want you all to feel like you are eavesdropping or doing anything else you shouldn't be. I'd rather you feel welcome here.

On my drive today, I was thinking that I wanted to tell you how much I loved writing for you all while I was at the ranch. I love that Tonya wrote in and said how much she loves the ranch, and I think Stephanie discovered me during my first ranch stay.

There's something about the blog and the ranch that goes well, isn't there? Really, I think it's that writing and the ranch go together well. My writing group will attest to that fact. So much of the writing/ranch marriage is Pam, and the energy she puts into it. It's her home base and therefore infused with all the ways that she encourages people to engage in that struggle to put the world into language, language that we can share with each other, and which may be beautiful in itself, but above all else creates a connection with the other. It might also be that Pam just found a place on the planet that already had in it whatever energy it takes to inspire people to work on the writing thing... maybe it's the hills and the way they take the late afternoon light, or the way you can't really see the house until you are right on it, because of the way the land undulates a little just there. Maybe it's the old barn or the thunderstorms or the elk, both living and dead. Maybe it's the voles. I don't know, but I know it's there, and I hope this week it results in words on the page from Pam, because now that I finally have that Hayden's Ferry Review with from her new, uh, book-length piece(novel?), I'm definitely hungry for more. I'd take another serving of that salmon if she was cooking, too. Pam is a person who knows dozens of ways to nourish a soul.

I guess there's something about the Salt Lake City Marriott and writing too, because that's a lot more than I meant to say just now. Okay, maybe it's not the Marriott, it's the road and writing, really. Back to that.

Abandoned place on Highway 139

What I wanted to say was a little thank you to our readers. I used to be someone who never showed anyone my writing. I wrote letters, but that wasn't the same as letting people read the little things I had worked on just for myself. I'm still shy about that, even with the writing group. I can't stand to read any of my pieces out loud and there are only a few people outside of the writing group who have seen bits of the novel. I'd like to get a little braver with it all, and I appreciate the blog as a step towards that. I don't know how much my writing here has in common with the novel or the short stories I've been working on. I know there are big differences, but the blog has definitely been a few more steps into bravery for me.

Pam and I were talking about thriving yesterday, and what it means to thrive. I think it's safe to say that the audience we have here has helped me thrive in certain ways. Whether you comment or not, I have this funny feeling that it matters whether I post here or not, and I feel a little itchy when I don't. Whenever I'm stuck with the other writing, it helps to know that I have a practice piece waiting for me here. The blog does not know what writer's block is.

I guess this is going to get a little like liner notes here, or the closing credits or something, because I really do want to mention how much I love imagining Kristin in England (my Original Reader!) Ross and Marjie in Portland, Mom in LaConner with all her Windermere pals. Barb in Minnesota, Susan in the OR, Glenn in New Zealand (Hi Glenn!) not to mention all the Seattle peeps, Kathleen and Katherine (you two really should meet, by the way), Peggy, Dakota, Dana, Caitlin, Regan, Kirsten - all of you help me imagine a benevolent audience out there in the world, and we all need to think that at least part of the world is a benevolent audience for us.

... and then there are all those people who haven't piped up to say hello yet (maybe you should!)... I wonder about you all... like who is reading from AMF Bowling Worldwide? I'm dying to know... I love bowling! You know I do, Ali.

Drove in to Salt Lake just as the sun was setting. It almost made it seem pretty.

Night night.


Susan said...

I think about you from the O.R.!

Godspeed little peanut, home safe now, y'hear?


Tonya said...

Thanks for the mention H. That is too sweet. I love the ranch, photos of it and how you write when you are there.

Peace, isn't fabulous? If we could just get our government to recognize it.

Barb said...

It's so funny to hear you be insecure about your writing. You're a beautiful writer, and the number of people who tune in to this bloag is a testament to that. You wrote so eloquently about the spirit of the ranch and the way that Pam nourishes the soul. I've never felt capable of explaining what it is that both the ranch and Pam can do for a writer, for a person, but you captured it beautifully. Keep on sharing that writing, Brave Girl!

Dakota said...

So...what's the puppy's name?

Heather said...