A second life extender

Traveling is a life extender–each adventuring moment demands complete attention and focus. Unlike blurred together home days routines, when traveling  I can remember every morning sunrise,  where I was sitting eating each juicy mango and sticky rice breakfast, the smells  of  barbecue over makeshift oil drum fires flickering on our evening walks, the unique cacophonies of produce markets, tree top monkey jungle songs,  and the bewitching call of  Balinese women luring us to let them “braid babies hair”.   When was the last work-a-day week you could remember what you had for dinner even two nights Ago?  I can effortlessly recite a litany of not only what I ate,  and the music of the kitchen’s  clankings and steaming’s , but the breathtaking sparkle of luminescent plankton laughing at our toes under our dinner table .”

And now,when least expected, I have a second life extender: writing – – not just writing, but writing for ME, for the joy and mindfulness  of transposing those traveling awareness skills  into a literary Springboard to look closer, feel stronger and think longer about where I am right now. This second life extender is a new coat of awareness, for once, not dictated by my clients’ editing constraints for essay due dates, or a publisher’s  preordained deadline.   This joyful traveling with words has been ignited and nurtured by a fabulous community of wonderful writers and I am so grateful to have had the slice of life experience. I know, my life has been extended by it. Thank you’s  are in order :
Thank you
To Brian Rozinsky for your daily bits of encouragement and wisdom. Your support translated seamlessly into motivation and reassurance.  I am truly touched  someone I have never met has put forth such kind, consistent  effort on my behalf.

To my first SOL contact Betsy: With words alone your made me feel so warmly welcomed. Then, as I read your slices, the generosity of your support became even more poignant; I pieced together your devastating life situation. I wanted so much to respond to your slices in a meaningful way—to offer words of consolation , or wisdom or helpful reflections. I wrote, and I deleted and wrote and deleted– my attempts were inadequate when addressing the pervasive impact of fire. To write a gloss of unknowing support seemed intrusive –a disconnect between the depth of what you experienced, my fledgling acquaintance with you and the comfort I wanted to convey. I wish I had the skill with words, but please know I had the thoughts

To aggiekesler : Meeting you through SOL has been a surprise and sweet connection. I Love your ex pat stories– what a delightful way to start getting to know you. Thank you for taking the time to read my slices–your comments have been helpful, looked forward to, and motivating…and I love we have a mutual personal connection.

To DJ vichos: I have enjoyed reading and commenting on many slices, but every reader has the style that resonates with her, and I have particularly looked forward to reading your slices. If you ever get tired of teaching, do, do think of becoming a published author – – you have the gift.

To readingteachersu, mrssurridge and the other kind repeated commenters – – thank you for taking the time to read my posts and for your supportive and insightful comments.  They were personal and reinforcing and truly look forward to

To the organizers and facilitators of slice of life – – thank you for facilitating a truly life enriching experience.

Most importantly, to Laurenrenah: I decided to participate in SOL because of your suggestion–the opportunity to join you was irresistible. Your vivid,   Capture-the-essence writings are real slices of life. Thank you for so beautifully describing moments I have treasured reading. You never cease to amaze me, my incredible daughter.

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12 thoughts on “A second life extender

  1. What a great “so long”. I truly enjoyed reading your slice of life each day. You have a way of using words that put your reader right there with you. And that I got to be excited with you as you planned for this trip and then actually shared about it, was a blessing. Safe trip home. Thanks for sharing the journey on your blog.

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  2. Your description of how traveling extends time and how you remember every detail is pure descriptive gold!! That’s exactly what it’s like! I’ve enjoyed your slices this month. You’re an incredible writer and have so much to say. Thank you for joining us. Looking forward to reading more from you in the future. 😄

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  3. I have loved our little chats through email and continue to be inspired by what you have to say. I hope that I can be just like you. If we ever cross paths I have a hug waiting. 🙂

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  4. I’m delighted that you have two life extenders now: travel and writing. I’m glad your first SOLSC was a wonderful experience. Sounds like you had lots of support. 🙂

    I hope to see you on Tuesdays year-round.

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  5. Sandy, my comment is past due. I’ve never been very good at receiving compliments. However, your compliment has meant so much, and I do receive it with deep appreciation. I can’t think of a better gift than to be included in your last March blog and to have such kind words said about my writing. I hope that we can stay connected.
    You’re right about writing being a life-extender–such a fantastic was of naming it. Thanks, again, and keep writing!

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  6. Thanks for writing back–it made me smile because I would like to stay connected. I have a request ( it may be something you may have already done, but I’m writing it anyway), but before I make that request, I want to tell you what stimulated it. I just finished printing each of the SOL challenge entries I wrote, if for nothing other than the satisfaction of gathering the stack of papers, tapping and shuffling them into a staple-able pile. I looked for a place to store them and came on an old embossed Italian leather folder. I really hadn’t paid much attention to it’s contents when I found it–almost 10 years ago– as I cleaned out my Dad’s home, but today I did. I sat reading for hours, spellbound, crying, smiling, grateful ( mostly, just grateful) as I read type-written “Doggrell’s from Dad” (12/12/81), a journal of my city dwelling parents very outback Baja adventures (6/23/72) and “The Panorama of Italy”, my dad’s epic, funny, sometimes tearfully sad poem written on an Italian hillside in 1944. It has been an amazing morning that underlined the power of being able to read about small details, everyday events , little moments that gave me back a bit of my parents.

    Now the request: If you haven’t already done so, print (yes hard copy) your SOL entries…all of them. Tap them together and staple them. Tuck the away, so one day Gus will know more about who he is and how much he is loved. I promise you he will treasure reading about the trusty Suburu that brought him home, how–when work called– your heart ached when it was “time to say good-bye to Foster avenue”. He will love your words of wisdom and your Mommy’s Alphabet, and the description of Christmas hide and seek, and so many other written treasures that will let him enjoy who he is, and who you are in ways you can’t imagine.

    Hopefully, one day you and your family will be exploring in the Pacific Northwest. I will expect a knock on the door. S.

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