Friday, June 20, 2014

Houston IS my BFF

A Home Health Nurse, who had moved to the Woodlands about a year ago, came to my house last week.  It was the initial informational visit prior to receiving Home Health Services, and so most of the time was spent answering Past History and Review of Systems questions.  She was sweet and kind, soft and well mannered, with a sweet voice still not influenced by “Southern Drawl”, and long blond hair that curled lightly about the cream sweater she was wearing, which distracted me during the visit, wanting to feel the fabric for weight and it seeming totally inappropriate in 93* weather.  Still, she seemed comfortable, and even the a/c dropped the temp to below my own comfort level, I let it run and rubbed my bare and neuropathic left foot as my toes turned blue. 


The only trouble I had answering the questions was the tight rope that was around my neck, squeezing with so much force that even getting breath in and out was a challenge, let alone forming words and sentences. 

Her pen checked boxes and scribbled quick notes as she worked to get through each item quickly. 

“Have you ever had asthma; rash; broken bone;…(name any illness, symptom or trauma).””

Yes, No, Yes, Yes, No, No, Yes, and I don’t know.

“Can you bathe, dress, brush your teeth?

Yes Yes Yes

The questions went on, and I answered them all until she asked me, having the information of my next of kin in two other separate states, “Why did you move to Houston?”

I stammered. The answer was right there, but if she had to ask, how could I explain to her?  Why would I choose to move to a city, where I knew no one, and would be hours away from my son in Louisiana, and a thousand miles from my daughter in Phoenix.  I began thinking of all the many happenings and choices, disasters and triumphs which had brought me to this point, this place, but could not repeat them, where would I even start?  The question, though, is more appropriately, why do I STAY in Houston? The crime, the traffic, the politics!

Yes, crime is an issue; traffic sucks; the politics are…politics. 

But the people are awesome.  I don’t necessarily have lots of best friends, and my life keeps me homebound much of the time. But I’m never alone, even when I’m by myself.  The people I know in this town are pricelessly loving.  They are creative, active, thinking, and giving.  They are healers, writers, poets, musicians, scientists.  They are performers, entertainers, teachers, and learners.  They model their beliefs, and they are Houston.  My BFFs. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Am I Good Enough? NaNoWriMo supporters say...

Facebook weaves in and out of my life, depending on my mood and schedule.  I sometimes go weeks without opening the program on my computer, posting small comments, updates or pictures by telephone.  I may use Facebook to see if there is anything going on in town, especially on the weekends.  My initial reason for opening a Facebook account was to promote my blog writings; I find, though, that previewing my feed almost always uncovers a thread that I feel I must comment on, and often those comments trigger a larger thesis.  This was the case when I read this post from the Nanowrimo blog during the April 2014 Camp Nano:
What if one becomes fairly certain that he or she just is not a good writer half way through NaNoWriMo... should he or she finish anyway?
Naturally, this frustrated Camper writing to a group of passionately committed wordsmiths, received much supportive advice:  Keep going; Don’t stop before you get to the hard stuff; and my favorite, do it because you love it!  For myself, this wavering esteem is all too familiar, and so I write this to both the original status poster and to that part of myself that is forever procrastinating and denying my true nature.  I suffer from the malady of moderation.    Then I would suggest that he or she should not concern themselves on the specific technique or outcome of their writing but rather on the passion with which it was written.  I would suggest that one’s proclivity towards putting words on a page is more important than the order that the words were placed.   Although my writing was encouraged and praised in college and Graduate School, and I have been writing consistently before, during and since then, the success I seek for my writings has not yet come to pass.  Still, I continue to write.  Some of my prose might end up on a blog and perhaps even read by a small group of curious Twitter followers or Facebook ‘'friends”.  Do I ever think that I am wasting my time, and life would be so much easier if I didn’t put this much pressure on myself or open my self so vulnerably to criticism from those who may read it? Every day.  Can I stop writing?  Never.  It is what I do.  I may not yet be noticed, I may not yet know the formula for a fiction novel, and my non-fiction may digress occasionally; but I keep writing.  When you have completed your Nanowrimo Word Count Goal, note how you feel.  Proud? Accomplished?  Ready for the next step?  Do you feel like there are things you need to finish or change?  Plot holes so big you can drive a truck through them?  Not only is writing a passion, and an art, writers are both teachers and learners.  The community of support that one finds with Nanowrimo will spill into your life.  I had no idea how big the writing network was until I started Nanowrimo in 2010.  From there, I found support and opportunities right in my own backyard, and my writing circle began to expand from my virtual world into my reality.  It has colored and infused it with creativity, support, and when you need or ask for it, critique.     
Don’t ever stop doing what you love.  “Good” is subjective.