Friday, January 13, 2006

Writerly River

Lately, if I don't write in the morning, I find I'm getting caught up in a million things and don't get back to the page until late at night and then ... pfff ... too tired, I drop and the whole cycle starts again.

Part of it is NOT reading anyone else's writing first thing, just letting the writerly river flow and seeing where it takes me. If I start reading everyone else's blog, I feel the need to engage and react to what they're throwing out there in the blogosphere. Not a bad thing, but sends my little canoe off in some direction I wasn't necessarily headed in.

I went skiing for the first time yesterday. It was much too warm -- very spring-like -- and the conditions were junky, so I gave up after very little time on the mountain, and then I discovered it was most fascinating to just sit around the lodge and look at people. I never get enough of that.

First, I noticed a whole bunch of high school students had really cool Spiderman-print skintight latex racing suits on, and some wore them in a real "look at me" muscle-flexing show-off manner and some wore them in a skinny, poor-posture shy and embarrassed "don't look at me" sculking manner. It made me remember high school and how hard it is when you mix in the hormones and the crushes and the growth spurts and the grades. What an impossible time. I don't envy them.

I saw a knock-out pretty brunette high school girl arguing with her mother about wearing a helmet. Interestingly, the girl looked exactly like her mother, that is, the mother's beauty was older, greyer, but you could see what the girl would look like in another 30 years. Whatever they were arguing about yesterday, I could see time would win the argument, as time wins most arguments. Maybe someday the girl would remember her mother caring enough to be with her that day and especially caring enough to argue with her to be safe and sensible. Maybe. Or she'd get a dose of what the rest of us get -- the role switch from kid to parent and a new bunch of our own kids to argue with, who are just as stubborn and mulish as we were.

I will refrain from comparing the way our lives speed by ... mine is lately ... to any breakneck slalom run, since the melty mush they called snow yesterday certainly didn't lend itself to such metaphors. But I know one thing, one simple fact that felt solid and true to me as I stood there surveying the many people in all their sizes, shapes and colors, that the mountain will be there long after all of us are gone. Always a good thing to remember.