As I continued to speak to the group, I just couldn't take my mind off her. You see, like her, I wrestle with time. We all do. It's hard to sit down at the end of a long day and write. It's hard to train myself to stop the moment an idea comes to mind and start to scratch it out on paper or type it into my device. It's hard to get up early enough to write before the day's responsibilities take over my thinking. Most of all, it's hard to trust my fingers to find the words. Writing is hard. It's really hard.
Stories slip through our fingers because of time, but also because we sometimes talk ourselves out of an idea before it even gets to begin. Maybe I'm always a little envious of the painter who can paint a picture so it feels like you are there. The way the artist captures the color, the shape, the feeling of a place or a moment. I'm always a little jealous of the photographer who can snap a picture that somehow speaks to my heart and soul or the writer who can find the words to wrap me inside a story.
If I am to be honest, sometimes I'm a little frustrated by inability to find the words to tell my own story. Yet, if I give myself permission to take the time to find the picture or write the smallest bit of words, I begin to discover the trail of a story that might otherwise have been forgotten. Maybe someday I can get back to that story and paint the words with a little more detail or with a little more perspective.
When I drive through towns with houses peppering the busy streets or fly over cities with lights shining toward the sky, I can't help but wonder about the stories just slipping away in the day to day busyness of our lives. I can almost picture them creeping up into the clouds, the thickness of the story turning to a thin vapor before it disappears forever.
When I think about the writer in the audience that day I hope somehow she found comfort in our conversation. I hope she is fortunate to find a writing community to hold her up and help her move forward. As I looked at her that day, and then over at all of the people I have come to know through digital writing in this Slice of Life community, I wanted to pause to introduce them to each other. I hope she finds a community to help her push through one word at a time. I hope she finds the time and the determination to find her story. Maybe that's all that really matters. Maybe it only matters that we're here and we find our stories.
"So I dip by toe into the stream. I feel the rush of words there. Words that are like a thousand silvery minnows, below the surface, rushing by. If I don't capture them, they will be lost." Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life ------ by Dani Shapiro (Thanks, Stacey, for the recommendation)