A Reminder for Writers

As the chop saw swung down, my brilliant idea came back to me.

Earlier that day I’d been writing up a clever list in my head — “The 3 I’s of Inaction” or something like that. On the morning walk with the dog, I knew them all. But when I started to write them down, the last one fell out of my head.

There, in the middle of a construction project, it returned.

“Indecision.” That’s what the third ‘I’ was.

If you have been writing very long, you understand the panic which accompanies the loss of an idea. What if that idea was THE idea, the one which plucks you from obscurity and vaults you to top of the writers’ podium?

Sunday morning I forgot an idea.

Here’s what else happened:

I extracted my redheaded wife from her cocoon of sheets. We were to join her uncle for breakfast.

My 35-pound French Bulldog hopped up in the car and we rolled through the woods of Tennessee, down a gravel road and then up a winding hill to join the family. The road is named after Kate’s grandfather.

Bacon popped in the pan as the dogs galloped around the linoleum. Sammy the black lab got some bacon grease on his food because he is a very good boy.

Afterwards, we went to Lowe’s. The smell of lumber wafted through the air as our squeaky buggy rolled through the aisle. The plan for the day — help my mother-in-law build her cabinets. (Mostly, that means I hold things and hand her tools).

Our reward for the labor was October beer with cinnamon sugar around the rim (don’t knock it til you try it).

At the end, we sat on the porch, sun screaming through a canvas of green, and showering the field. breathing in the almost-fall air, chatting about some things that mattered and a few that didn’t.

And that is how days go. A few random events punctuated by familiar characters.

Did yesterday mean anything at all?

Maybe. I don’t know. I do know this:

At the end of it all I won’t remember “The Three I’s of Inaction.” It was just an idea. Ideas are infinite. Days are finite. Today is September 5th, 2017. I will never live another September 5th, 2017.

This doesn’t mean each day has to be extraordinary. We live in a weird culture where if we are not having THE BEST TIME EVER, why bother telling anyone about it?

No, it is our job to make the ordinary unforgettable. To scrawl something down which says:

“Ah yes, on this day, THIS happened.”

When we can do that, life has meaning.


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