From Where I Sit – The Best I Can Do

I’ve been writing this column for several years now. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s not. Sometimes the words come spilling onto the page and the biggest job becomes pruning and shaping until only the best five hundred words I can muster that week are left.

Sometimes, in passing, I think about you dear reader and how you may react to what I’ve written. I shouldn’t let it drive what I do, but obviously sometimes I hear my censor yelp. Most times, I just do what pleases me and hope you find some value in it. Perhaps you’ll find a nugget of truth, a factoid, or a new way to look at or think about an old subject. But if you don’t :

I try to write the way I talk: succinctly, conversationally, and with care. I strive above all to be as honest as I can be when facts are the story. I try to be as authentic and congruent as I can when feelings or opinion are the story:you know, calling a spade a shovel. I think there’s a rhythm, a cadence to my words, an identifiable voice distinctly mine. Whether you’re a middle-aged farm wife in north-central Alberta or an Athabasca University student from another country, I hope you find a universality and timeliness to the topics I cover. f some of my readers have to reach for the dictionary to get through a piece with understanding, I say great. It keeps those ol’ brain synapses robust.

This is a tough week for me. I’m physically exhausted. I thought I was writing a fun piece about garage sales. About the crap, buying mistakes and sentimental stuff we cling to for far too long. Last night, today and all day tomorrow I’m helping my mom and step-dad with a huge garage sale in preparation for their move to a smaller house in another community. But that becomes the footnote and not the story.

As I near the end, I guess I’m saying that regardless of what’s going on in my life in any given week and whether I’m tired or inspired, brilliant or ho-hum — I try to bring my best to you. So, while I wait for the feeling to return to my legs, while I delay for another couple of days my own urgent projects, I squeeze in this writing to stay in touch with you, to honour my commitment to editors, to keep my hand in the game, to keep my synapses robust. In one short week, I launch a farm-based business (Heart Works Studio, Gallery & Gift Shop where I will sell art, sell eclectic giftware, and offer workshops). While it seems like something I’ve spent a lifetime preparing for, at this moment I do not know if I’ll be ready next Saturday. I may die trying. So if I’ve wandered and rambled this week, forgive me. Know that some weeks it’s the best I can do, from where I sit.