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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

This weekend, I came out of the closet – about this blog. First to Joe, in a post-massage two-Manhattans haze, never giving him the URL and knowing he’d never go looking for it (the man doesn’t even have voicemail, let alone an affinity for web 2.0).

I like to think that doesn’t count.

But today – today it was deliberate. I outed myself to two of those amazing women – Jenny and Jen. And the closet metaphor is a good one, because these are the two that I turn to when my actual closet is no longer cutting the mustard. It’s never outstanding, mind you, but this week its dismal contents got me to the point where, as Jenny mentioned, we had to venture out on one of my biannaul clothing stock ups.

I loathe clothes shopping, because I suck at it. For a long time, I described myself as fashion retarded, and I mean that

Okay, so maybe I'm not quite this bad!

Okay, so maybe I'm not quite this bad!

word in the literal sense: when it comes to clothing, I am s-l-o-w. If it were up to me, I’d wear jeans and a black tee shirt every day, throwing in the intermittent skirt when the occasion calls for it. (When I mentioned that plan to Jenny and Jen, Jenny replied, “and that would be different how?”) So I tend to avoid shopping for as long as possible, then call on people with skills I don’t even begin to have, skills I truly marvel at, like mixing and matching colors, envisioning what that sweater might look like with this shirt and that pair of pants, honing in on the clearance item that fits well and brings out the color in their eyes.

They might as well be speaking Farsi or working with imaginary numbers for all the chance I have of understanding it.

By the grace of God, someone has always played this role in my life: in high school it was Danielle, in college it was Beth, and Julie and Angie have served in this office as well. I’m indebted to these women. They’ve taught this remedial student a thing or two (Raglan sleeves + big boobs = uh-gly), steered me clear from fashion disasters (Beth’s “Rona, what the hell are you thinking?!” has been uttered more than once), and – no exaggeration – brought me real peace of mind.

So I’ve come home from a truly satisfying day, spent in the company of two who have a hold on my heart, and I’m grateful – that the closet in my bedroom has been taken off life support once again, and that my writing closet has been flung open to good friends.

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I saw March today, and she asked me how my writing is coming, and I told a little white lie. Which is silly. Lying to one’s therapist, that is. But saying, “Oh yes! I’ve written once in all these months that we’ve talked about it!” seemed pa-the-tic. So I said that I’d started, and was doing just a little.

See, it was a white lie.

But actually, talking with March made me realize what some of the barriers have been to stop me from diving right in. Two things: first, I get stuck on wanting to know where my writing is going to end up before I’ve even started. It’s my obsessive need to plan. Just enjoy the freakin’ journey, Rona! You may end up somewhere more lovely than you could have imagined.

Second, there are so many thoughts swirling in my head – where does one begin? If I could have one thing that doesn’t really exist, it would be Dumbledore’s pensieve (although for it to be useful, I suppose I’d need two things that don’t exist: a pensieve and a wand). I’d love to remove the excess thoughts from my brain and sort through them at my leisure. To organize a lot of disparate fragments into a cohesive argument… belief… theology….

Of course, that’s what writing is, no? Extracting ideas from our minds, and placing them on the page (screen) so that we can make sense of them? That is, if we’d let ourselves start with the finish in the fog around the bend. Who knows what magical discoveries we might make?

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At a loss for words…

…which is a little ironic, since I just decided to start a blog. I have no current plans to tell anyone of its existence – just set down a few thoughts on (virtual) paper. A little exercise. My writing muscles are as devoid of tone as my triceps (eegads).

I’m certainly a blog reader. There are four I read with relish: two by friends, one for fun, and one on philanthropy. There’s one that’s now gone that I miss. And there are a few others I visit from time to time. But by and large I’m an Internet lurker. A facebook voyeur, rather than an exhibitionist. An infrequent tweeter (and that’s in my “official” capacity, at that). Someone who faithfully watches “The Daily Show” the day after, then wonders (somewhat scornfully, I admit) who exactly has the time or the interest to comment – nay, even chat – about Jon’s latest guest.

So why, if I’m evidently averse to wading into the WWWeb, am I writing this in that very medium? Why not MS Word, or the mostly empty notebook that sits in my nightstand? Because I may just change my mind, and I like to be prepared [gasps of shock from all who know me well].

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