MARCH IS COLORECTAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
GET YOUR : LOOKED @
(CLICK ABOVE. GO AHEAD. IT'S OK. NOTHING SCARY ON THE OTHER END OF THAT CLICK. YOU CAN DO IT.)
"I'm good enough, I'm smart enough — and doggone it! — people like me."Thank you very much. Because, however ridiculously mocking your character and his bon mots were intended to be, they both contain kernels of truth — as all good satire should.
|my sweet escape|
|Mr. J, circa long ago and far away|
"Intrigued by your post title, I clicked over here from SITS.
My perspective: I'm a lifelong writer, stringing my own words together as soon as I learned I could. I worked hard to have one of the nation's top journalism schools give me a degree that has served me well. I've been lucky enough to have people pay me to string their words together for more than 20 years.
Still, I kept my best words inside, or, seen only by me, scribbled in too many journals to count.
A life-changing event last year gave me the impetus I needed to get those words out. What started as a daily chronicle on Facebook to keep family and friends informed of my husband's cancer treatment became a blog where I could say more than a FB status update would allow.
I promised myself I'd write in my voice, and write for me. I promised myself it didn't matter if people read it. I promised myself that even if I did want to be the next Heather Armstrong or Jen Lancaster, it didn't matter if I wasn't.
I promised myself I'd just keep writing. And I have. Sometimes sentimental, sometimes snarky. Sometimes about cancer advocacy, sometimes about cancer fears. Sometimes about love, sometimes about losing it.
But always about me, my life and my world. Because that's what I know.
And I do want to be as big as dooce™ and Jennsylvania™, and I do crave (more than I'd like to admit) the connections, the feedback — ahh, who am I kidding? — the pure, undiluted attention-high that comes from someone actually reading and responding to my words.
But I have to write like it doesn't matter. Because, now, I just have to write. And now, I have to figure out how to evolve from a cancer treatment story to life after it.
Thanks for this post. Thanks for reminding me of something I needed to remember. Be well."So. That's it.
Edward Estlin Cummings, I Adore You
I can't remember the first time I realized I was actually reading words on a page for myself (and not just trusting that those black shapes scattered below an illustration really represented the sounds I heard my father make). I can't remember the first time I wrote something. A random word. My name (the long, lyrical, multisyllabic, Irish-Catholic Cathleen Theresa). A note. A story. A poem. A song. I can't remember learning to read and write, nor when I learned to love both. Nor when I knew I needed to do both to thrive. Just like I can't remember learning to walk, to talk. To breathe. But I was sitting on a pink shag carpet next to a four-poster canopy bed, wearing Calvin Klein jeans and Bass penny loafers, braces on my teeth but not my glasses on my myopic, Maybelline-mascara'd eyes, when I first read E. E. Cummings. That I remember. I was 14 years old and I knew I was in love. I knew he knew every last rule of grammar and punctuation, but he broke them anyway. Because breaking them made his words better. Made the dominant right side of my brain see, smell, taste, hear, and feel the message. At. Just. The. Right(no, the best). Pace. And, I remember reading the words below and knowing I wanted everything they made me feel. Everything they represented. The way they made me feel empowered as a writer, proved I could manipulate words to make them speak for me when my voice could not. The way they made me feel overwhelmed as a human, hoping, dreaming, praying, wishing that one day ... One day. Tomorrow? Next week? Next month? Before prom? (I was 14.) Ever? (I am a girl.) That one day I would feel about someone else the way this ee dude felt about whomever he was thinking of when he wrote those words. Those words below. In the intervening 27 years, many words have made me feel many things (so many things) about many people (so many people). Emotional, yes. But not enraptured. Not uniquely overwhelmed. Not like just those words. And not like (finally, blessedly, eternally, uniquely overwhelmingly) just one man. JRW, I adore you. i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)i am never without it(anywhere i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling) i fear no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart) photograph of E. E. Cummings' portable Smith-Corona, © Bernard F. Stehle i carry your heart with me, © E. E. Cummings 1894-1962