Today is Imbolc on the Wiccan/Neo-pagan calendar and that seems like a good time to begin a blog. This blog. The one you are reading at work or at home; on your Mac or your PC or your new ipad. (Please no feminine hygiene jokes). Imbolc is, for this pagan anyway, the first day of Spring. Don’t believe me? Look around, wake up, pay attention! The days are visibly longer, daffodils and crocus and hyacinths are showing their bright green shoots (in my neck of the woods at least). Trees have tiny buds. I’ve seen the sun at least three times in the last week and I smelled Spring on four different occasions. My point is, that I can no longer hibernate in my den of depression playing virtual solitaire and accumulating facebook friends. It is time to take these ideas that have been swirling around in my brain and spill them out onto the page. It means that the play I began writing last Summer and stopped writing this Fall needs some light, some rejuvenation, some . . . well . . . I need to get to work.
A few years ago, upon turning thirty and celebrating my liberation from marriage, I decided it was time to get serious about writing. I mean, what else did I have? My plan to be a stay-at-home wife and mother fell apart and I was terrified of becoming a lonely, crazy-cat lady whose only connection to the outside world was a receptionist job in hell. I took my divorce money and after a full-day at the spa hopped on two planes and a shuttle bus to Taos, New Mexico for a writing retreat with Natalie Goldberg. I filled a spiral notebook in one week and signed up for another writing intensive (this time silent) eight months later. By the time the second trip to Taos arrived I had quit my job in suburbia and moved to the city where I was sure writing and writers would be eager to have me. Not so much. I needed a job and so found myself in yet another version of receptionist hell. Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 5:30pm, a fake smile painfully smeared across my face I answered phones, sent emails, and became a verbal punching bag for a large community of HR haters (Think Michael Scott vs. Toby). Coming home from a day of torture was not (and is not) conducive to writing.
So, after a year, I quit. Again. And I went back to Taos, again. And I filled another notebook and this time when I got home I started graduate school. But, instead of an MFA in writing, I decided to follow my spiritual inclinations and pursue a Master of Divinity degree. I longed to express my spiritual life on the page, but I lacked the language. The M.Div. seemed like just the thing. Besides, more than one person told me that an MFA isn’t the key to a writing career. I was told, “If you want to be a writer, you just have to pick up a pen and get to work.” And so, dear Reader, I ask you to pass me a pen because there is writing to be done and a soul longing for expression.