Open thread

Published by Lori Pickert on September 5, 2009 at 03:25 PM

In an attempt to circle the wagons for an open thread this weekend, I followed the example of my nine-year-old (renowned for his work ethic), who carries around a little soft-cover notebook in his pocket to note ideas for his comics.

I carried around my own little soft-cover notebook and jotted down various ideas for posts and possible open-thread discussions. These normally come to me when I am doing dishes, luxuriating in the peaceful alone time, as everyone leaves the vicinity when I begin cleaning up, in case I want them to help. I tend to write entire, brilliant posts in my head at these times; unfortunately I can’t quickly type them up — or even jot them in my new soft-cover notebook — since I’m up to my elbows in hot water.

Normally I jot notes about writing and blogging into a file on my laptop, but summer is not laptop friendly, at least since my Mac battery died and my laptop is tethered to the couch like a lonely dog on a chain. Thus the notebook idea.

So this morning I cracked it open and prepared myself for a taxing session of choosing which brilliant idea to bring to the fore, only to find that I had a page and a half of crabbed notes that made no sense to me whatsoever.

I believe I used to have the sort of memory that could call up entire reams of thought based on a few well-chosen clue words, but apparently I have it no longer. Since “pencil vs. mower”, for example, jostled nothing loose from the archives whatsoever.

I have returned the notebook to my pocket with a large scrawled reminder to myself to “WRITE MORE”; hopefully I will remember that means more details and not simply more obscure key words. Autumn is all about ambitious new plans, after all.

Note: There were some great comments on the Grit post that I only got around to approving today, due to my extreme summer-exacerbated lack of work ethic. Check them out.


Comment by Kellyi on September 5, 2009 at 08:04 PM

I think when you are a mother, you have so many things to remember, so many thoughts swirling in your mind, that it is difficult to recall some of the lesser details.

I have written letters and blog posts in traffic jams - all in my head, never to be remembered again.

One day, when they are grown and independent, I like to think that there will be space in my brain.

Comment by Quinne on September 5, 2009 at 11:35 PM

Hi Lori :)
Your post made me smile... I have a note pad beside my bed - always have had. I used to wake from sleeping to write poems, chapters of stories, articles, letters, journal entries.

These days (the mommy days), I do not wake unless one of my sweeties needs me and then I collapse back to sleep - lol! Perhaps, as Kelly says, those night writing adventures will return one day. I'm not in a hurry for that :) but will enjoy it as it comes.

Have a lovely evening!
Love & hugs, Q

Comment by estea on September 6, 2009 at 01:00 AM

i have so written so many great posts IN MY MIND while mowing the lawn. dagnab these aging brains.

pencil vs. mower . . . . i am ever so curious ;)

Comment by DaveJ on September 6, 2009 at 01:29 AM

I'm just glad to know you're still here. I thought you'd been abducted by aliens or something. We just started unschooling this week and I'm a bit insecure without my daily/weekly Camp Creek fix!

Comment by Jill on September 6, 2009 at 02:23 AM

you are a hoot!

Comment by kort on September 6, 2009 at 03:33 AM

your notebook puts me in mind of Mary Oliver's "Pen and Paper and a Breath of Air." listen:

What I write down is extremely exact in terms of phrasing and cadence. In an old notebook I can find, "look the trees/are turning/their own bodies/into pillars of light."...Sometimes what is written down is not generally understandable at all, but is a kind of private shorthand. The entry "6/8/92 woof!" records for me that on that day, and with this very doggy sound, I first came upon coyotes in the Provincelands. Both the shorthand and the written phrase are intended to return me to the moment and place of the entry....The words do not take me to the reason i made the entry, but back to the felt experience, whatever it was....It is the instant I try to catch in the notebooks, not the comment, not the thought.

Comment by jen (learning p... on September 6, 2009 at 04:03 AM

That's awesome!
Glad you are still around and at least thinking of posting.
And I'm glad I'm not the only one....for me it was "playset" scrawled on a piece of paper. After days of thinking I was supposed to do something to our playset and not knowing what and moving the piece of paper from here to there on my desk, I remembered that I wrote that word out for my son to copy. He wanted to spell it correctly. (duh!)

Comment by Lynn on September 6, 2009 at 05:12 AM

Hahaha! You make me so happy. And I'm so glad you're back!!!

Comment by nancy on September 7, 2009 at 12:53 AM

glad you are back and even thinking about posting again. I love the fact that you have to write yourself a note to remind yourself to write more notes:) that's something i would do.

Comment by Theresa on September 7, 2009 at 02:06 AM

Oh, I am glad you are back! I was getting bored over there all by myself, writing posts in my head, and then totally forgetting them.

Comment by jacinda on September 7, 2009 at 05:36 AM

Oh, it's so great you are back. We have just got through the worst of the winter down here in nz and are enjoying the budding of spring. Perhaps along with spring will come the budding of my blog - a years worth is written in my head!!!

Comment by Lori Pickert on September 7, 2009 at 02:44 PM

kelly, i think you are exactly right — basically my brain can only hold about three thoughts at a time, and new ones keep pushing out the old ones! ;^)

(i’m being generous saying three…)

i do think that my brain has more room and my schedule can accommodate more thoughts now that the boys are getting older — so there’s hope! yet i still manage to be distracted…

quinne, i have a journal on my bedside table, too! i always seem to wake up in the middle of an interesting idea or thought. if i don’t write it down immediately, it’s lost.

and you are so right — there’s plenty of time after the babies get a little older! :^)

estea, you and me both.

i actually kind of vaguely remember what “pencil v. mower” referred to … kind of … but i don’t think i can flesh it all back out again! we’ll see. ;^)

dave, HA, only the summer aliens. ;^) don’t worry; i’m here for moral support. and don’t forget, you can always reach me by e-mail if you need me!

good luck with your new adventure! i’m excited for you!

kort, i love mary oliver; thank you so much for sharing that quote! it was new to me!

there are notes in my real journal that are like that … brief but they bring back an entire whole experience.

my real life is a good deal more memorable than my bloggy thoughts, which burble on like a paper boat on a creek, once glimpsed then quickly disappearing around a bend. ;^)

jen, lololololol, that sounds *so familiar*. i write notes on mini post-its and while they are supposed to be a time- (and mind-) saver, i end up wasting long minutes trying to decipher what they were for! ;^)

i once found a scrawled note by the phone at school and brought it to one of the teachers, concerned, because it seemed to indicate a friend was ill; she read it, looked at me quizzically, then pointed out that it was a list of the sandwiches we’d ordered for lunch the previous day and *i* was the one who had written the note. in my own defense, the restaurant had really odd sandwich names. ;^)

thank you, lynn! ;^)

nancy, thank you! and lol, yes, soon i will have a post-it reminding me to write in my notebook, which has notes telling me to write… maybe i need a new strategy. ;^)

(my final outpost is writing notes on the back of my hand…)

theresa! :D well, now we can do it together. lolol

jacinda, thank you. :^) i’m glad you are enjoying the reappearance of spring; my friend who is a peace corps volunteer in southern africa is saying the same thing. meanwhile we are watching the leaves begin to turn as we head toward autumn.

lol re: your blog … i often note ruefully that my “blog ideas” file is three times longer than my actual blog. ;^)

Comment by Deirdre on September 7, 2009 at 04:41 PM

Have to share my favorite "random post it note" mother and I are always sharing Netflix dvd recommendations and she writes them on random envelopes or whatever is near her phone.

I recommended "I've Loved You for So Long" (which is a really good movie, BTW), and when my 73-yr-old dad came upon it, he wrote underneath it,
"Me too. xoxo"


Lori, is it possible to subscribe to your blog via email? I've seen that on a few other squarespace blogs (eg: Google Reader freezes my computer and I'd hate to miss out. Let me know. THanks!

Comment by barbara on September 7, 2009 at 06:16 PM

dishes? luxurious? in the same sentence.... girl... i don't know about that one ;) and I too have a faulty mac (needs a new logic board- yikes)-- not fun.

we are getting ready to move back to america at the end of the month, hoping to be more active on your wonderful site then. maggie is really starting to blossom and explore a variety of "languages"... it's starting to get exciting around here!!

hope you have had a great summer! :)

Comment by Lori Pickert on September 7, 2009 at 07:19 PM

deirdre, that is the sweetest note story ever :^)

i have been asked before about the e-mail subscription … i will try to figure it out!

barbara, lol, i can’t help it — i like to wash dishes!

i shouldn’t harp on my laptop, which is ancient by laptop standards. it has developed a lot of geriatric symptoms besides having no battery life. for instance, some of the keys don’t work unless you bang them extra hard. (good thing i learned to type on a *manual typewriter* — it’s not just my laptop that’s geriatric…)

welcome back to the u.s.a.! we’re glad to have you back. ;^)

we’ve had a fantastic summer; i hope you all have, too!

Comment by Cathy T on September 10, 2009 at 11:53 AM

Fall - a time for kindling... Glad to be reading your blog again. I was wondering how you were doing.

Comment by Kathie on September 11, 2009 at 06:00 AM

But look at what a good blog entry you created because you couldn't decipher your notes! It's good to see you back!

Comment by OMSH on October 20, 2009 at 07:16 PM

"Since “pencil vs. mower”, for example, jostled nothing loose from the archives whatsoever."

I'm still laughing at this one.
Nodding and laughing.
It reminds me of when I've tried, at length, to wake up and record dreams.

One read "Pine coves do not make a lover."
Um..yes, right.

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