When I was in the eighth grade at Whatcom Middle School, my teacher, Mrs. Kuikan, would put pieces of a quote up on the board every Monday. By Friday we would need to have found the exact quote along with its author, memorize it, down to the punctuation, and be able to write one fact about the author. I loved everything about this! I loved the memorization. I loved sleuthing after the quote. And I loved finding out the facts about the author. Not to mention how totally validating it was to nearly always get one hundred percent on that quiz every week!
I loved the whole process so much, I asked for The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations for Christmas one year. My grandmother was delighted to buy me the book, which was big and fat and happened to be the third edition. I nearly read it from cover to cover.
Back in the fall I was suffering from a bit of writer’s block and decided to challenge myself to write, and publicly post, something every day. It was a marvelous exercise for me, and I ended up writing seventy-one posts. It was good for my creativity. It was great for my morale. And I loved connecting with the people who became regular readers and commenters. I would love to have kept it up forever, except that the other part of the learning experience for me, was learning to flow and switch gears when the time called for it.
And so, I switched gears and began working on a compilation of poetry I am hoping to publish at some point this year. Even as I’ve been working on this other project, though, I have missed my daily posting and connections through my blog. There have been a number of times that I’ve sat down in hopes of writing something compelling. Many of those times, it felt a lot like plowing concrete, which is not enjoyable. And so, I am learning to trust the process – this new process of mine that is new and strange and unpredictable. I’m trusting that all of the experiences I’m having and the beautiful things I’m learning are pooling in a deep place that will eventually need to flow out.
A New Adventure
In the meantime, as another fun challenge to myself, I will be starting another blog, “Wisdom From Oxford”. This will be a regular post of sleuthing out an inspiring or relevant or strange and beautiful quote from my Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. Inspired, of course, by Mrs. Kuikan and my eighth grade memorization exercises. I’ll be moving alphabetically by author and reflecting a bit on the wisdom. How it’s maybe sparked a new perspective for me. Or challenged, or comforted.
I think words are wonderful. I also think people can be wonderful. And I love it when the two can come together to spark a beautiful moment of wisdom and solidarity among those of us who are listening. So, if you love words, or if you are looking for solidarity and a new perspective, come along on my new blog journey, and let’s be friends~