It’s Time for me to Write

As I mentioned two posts ago, I want to maintain a daily practice of writing. I started on November first, and it is now November 45th. This included a great day on Sunday at a writer’s workshop, with my childhood friend, actress, and writer, Beth Bornstein Dunnington. It was wonderful. The workshop itself, and the process of spending a whole day writing among thoughtful, kind, and intelligent people.

The first prompt was a clarion call: “The reason to write today.” This is what I wrote:

It is time for me to write.

I am 56. If you had asked me when I was 20 or 30 or 40 or even 50, I would have said 56 was ancient. My father died at 54. My mother’s health abandoned her and she retired at 56. I’ve outlived one sister and too many friends. Life for me has not been just fragile but too often tragic. I’ve seen things end very badly–suicide and murder and horrifying illnesses where every faculty is obliterated at the end.

But I am not unhappy, and while my experiences cause me to to knock on every reachable surface of wood when I say or write this, I am content. A switch flipped for me when I turned 54 and then 55 and absorbed the fact that I had outlived my father. I like that I am calmer now, that so much less testosterone is raging. I listen better. I am kinder.

I also am in a new phase of my life. My wife and i have a half-empty nest, with one son at college and soon to graduate. My younger son lives with us, but is like the kind of roommate you always wanted–polite, quiet, orderly, and either out or in his room most of the time.

I have written in fits and starts since I was 18. I have done workshops, taught scores of tedious freshman English classes, read deeply and thoughtfully but not enough. I can point to a very few things I have written well, yet I have dozens, maybe hundreds of things I want to write.

It is time for me to write.

I took time this fall to clean and organize my home office. I have a place to write. I’ve shelved my books in ways I like. I have created a corner with copies of almost everything I have written or started to write. I have filled small boxes and organizers with objects that will help me remember my life. Pictures, ticket stubs, birthday cards and baseball cards, keys, coins, notes and letters from friends, newspaper articles, harmonicas I played badly, baseballs, hockey pucks, receipts from hotels and restaurants.

There are stories in each and every one of these things. Sad stories, Funny ones. Stories of lust and anger. Stories of friends long gone and friends rediscovered. I look at them and my feet are in the ocean or my back is on the sand. I am stoned and my brother is walking us across the night sky, naming every planet, every star, every constellation. I am 16. It’s a summer night, and I am with friends I see every day, all day, every night. We are young, healthy, confident, oblivious of what will come our way, which us will fall first, which of us will gather again 40 years later, laden with family and work and faces that we ourselves don’t recognize even though everyone else does and greets us with smiles and handshakes and hugs, happy that we are still here, happy that we have found even a few moments together.

It is time for me to write.

2 thoughts on “It’s Time for me to Write

  1. Very good, Mr. Trippe. I say too that it is time for you to write.

    Question: Would not the “me” in the post title be capitalized? If not, please explain, so that I might learn.

    I’m glad I finally clicked on the FB link you provided to this blog. It is time for me to read.

    See you soon.

    DRG

    Like

    • Sorry for the slow reply! I guess I have comments moderated.

      You know, I was just agonizing about title case for another entry, and I probably got that one wrong as well. This is why the world needs editors!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s