Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Don't dream it. Be it.

This is The Book.  It's beautiful, really.  In May of 2011, my husband commissioned an artist to create this one-of-a-kind journal for me.  It's rich.  It's luxurious.  And...it's empty.  I can't touch it.  For the last eight months I have not been able to bring myself to write even one, single letter in it.  Why?  It makes me feel guilty.  It's for a writer, and I never believed that person could be me.  Until today...

It seems as though every other person on Earth and their Grandma have a blog these days, and every other person on Earth who actually writes regularly on their blog will proclaim that they are "working on a book".  I guess I was different.  The only thing that I've been working on is finding a new way to style my hair and to have someone else feed the dogs and clean my house.  Sure, I write my stories but actually visualizing, plotting, and sitting my sorry butt down to write a real book?  Hello?  Who do you think I am, Erma Bombeck?  I happen to really love my couch, and we have a solid date every night of the week.  To quote a favorite song of mine, "Don't expect too much from me, and you might not be let down."

So, I have left this beautiful book made exclusively for my words to sit on the credenza, mocking me, reminding me that other people have higher hopes and aspirations for me than I have for myself.  I touch it only when I dust, telling it to "stop looking at me like there might be a tiny writer inside waiting to get out." (That book is such a bitch sometimes.)

But something has been tugging at my heart brain for a while now.  A story has been slowly unfolding over the last two years that needs to be told. (It isn't about me...shocking, I know!)  I have watched with awe as a family I know took a situation that could have easily torn them apart and turned it into nothing short of an inspiration for anyone who grew up in the South (or anywhere for that matter), proving that skin color is irrelevant when you have unconditional love and faith that is stronger than a rock.

A few days ago I decided to approach my friend and ask if she would allow me to write a story about them for my blog.  She quickly agreed, but I knew in the back of my mind that this was big, too big for one entry.  Maybe two?  Maybe five?  Maybe make it into a saga that would string along for a year?  There was so much to say that one brief article could never do it justice.  Not one to ever work too hard, I kept turning this idea over in my head.  "I can't write a book.  I'm too damn lazy.  Who am I kidding?  I never finish anything."  Then another thought kept pushing its way to the surface, replacing all of the others: "You HAVE to write this book.  People need to know this story." (There was probably another voice in there telling me to stop watching so much TV and to log off of Facebook, but I'm not sure...)

So, I am...writing a book, that is.

My friend, who couldn't get the idea out of her head either, called me this morning, and we knew we were on to something.  This young man and her family have changed the way that I - a Southern child born during the heat of the Civil Rights movement - view race relations in my small hometown.

I'm hoping that once I finish this major feat that may or may be on my bucket list, I will feel like I have earned the right to open this beautiful journal and write.  For now, that book is looking at me and whispering, "Come on, girl...you can do it."

12 comments:

  1. Damn. You're funny AND inspiring. Go! Write!

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  2. I am so glad and grateful that I found your blog and facebook. Your voice is funny, but serious, deep, but not intimidating, and filled with familiar feelings that we all recognize no matter where we live. I look forward to reading ANYTHING you write.

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  3. You are your own worst enemy! I have presented your blog to a past teacher of mine who is a published author, AND SHE LOVES IT! Please realize that I read because it is always an amazing read, and not because you are my friend (which of course I am very proud of)! I do believe you have either missed your calling or choose to ignore it!!!!!

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  4. Yes you can. I would read it. And I KNOW I am not the only one. Now you have got my attention and my curiosity up. You HAVE to write it

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  5. Thanks so much!! I need all the encouragement I can get! :-)

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  6. beautiful book for a beautiful lady. I can't wait to read more.

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  7. Sometimes it takes some time for the words to travel from your mind down your arm and into your hand to write or type. If that's what's happening, then I will patiently wait, since I know that what finally comes out will be worth waiting for. If that's NOT the problem, then get busy. :)

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  8. Carly Baker babysits for us every Wednesday, because of a weekly Bible study we attend. We are crazy about her, and I cannot wait to see this story unfold! I will be first in line to buy your book! Put it to paper! You can do it! Christie www.threepixielane.blogspot.com

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  9. Serious... this is great stuff you put out. Being an artist, sculptor and painter. A reader for the love of knowledge, and self induced home journal writer... You are brilliant! The way you coin a phrase!! admirable! your insight, brilliant, your soul shines!! thanks for being and truly inspiring!

    Scott Garcia

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  10. eh, i say the journey is far more important than the documentation of the journey. but i haven't written one either even though i vowed to in the second grade. you have my full support--get ON that book, dammit--but it's kinda like, seeya, wouldn'twannabeya.

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  11. Keep going! I think your work would be very great!

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