Random Thoughts

I was laying in bed on Friday night, thinking of the final term of high school. Called the Trinity Term, our English Master walked in the first day, handed us a list of books to read, the books and a list of essay questions for each book.

All we were to do that term was read the books, and turn in one essay a week. The essay questions were complicated, and the essays were to be 999 words. Not a word more. Brevity may be the soul of wit, but neither has ever been my strong point. I am loquacious, wordy, inclined to the use of too many adjectives and adverbs. I modify my sentences, using punctuation to break my thoughts. My thoughts are not short. I went to the English Master, in his office, that first week, and confessed that I didn’t think I could do this. He smiled, told me it would be a particular challenge for me, but he was confident I would rise to the occasion.

I find myself struggling to keep the word count of this blog down, especially now. Brevity requires a sort of confidence, an idea of what you want to say, and then an ability to distill those thoughts into the smallest amount of words. It is judicious application of bottom to chair, fingers to key board, writing and re-writing. Ruthlessness, eliminating what you think is the elegant turn of phrase, into something that is simple and sparse. The discovery of a new type of elegance: an elegance that is characterized as much by what is said, as what is not said. Negative space in an essay requires surety of thesis and thought. You must know exactly what you want to say, and nothing more. It is the lack of clarity that contributes to wordiness, as you circle in and approach your thesis, without ever quite getting there.

With no surety of my thoughts, such briefness and brevity is impossible for me. I am forced to write too much, trying to get my hopes and fears and thoughts out there. They come at me all at once, and I am unable to isolate a single thought, fear, dream, to only write about that. Things are now so tangled that I can not separate and examine.

I am almost mute now. I simply cannot bring myself to face the enormity of a life with no children. I cannot face that these scrap books will not be flipped through by my descendants, that Mr. Spit and I will die alone. I think of Wayson Choy’s book Not Yet, the voices of his ancestors in his head as he lay dying, “No marry, no son’s, no daughters, you die alone”. And I hear these words, and I am mute. My posts this week will be brief, and light. I have not retreated, but I have little to say. I need to untangle enough, perhaps just one emotion, so that I can hold it up to the light and remove its power.

In a sense, this will be an entire week of Monday Miscellany. I beg your patience.

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17 Responses to Random Thoughts

  1. Maureen says:

    I’m here listening.

    I know it is not the same, but I would love to sit, look, and listen to you as you go through your scrapbooks.

  2. Martha says:

    Holding your virtual hand, dear C.
    I’m so sorry for this heartache.

  3. Bluebird says:

    Of course you have our patience, and our understanding (as much as we can).

    You are right, Mrs. Spit – brevity is to be praised. I, too, struggle with it (as I’m sure you’ve noticed). But there are also times when it is as helpful to *me* to just sit down and start writing. And write and write and write – get all my thoughts out – as if writing for myself alone. If you chose to do that, Mrs. Spit, we’d still read. We’re here, to help you through this, as you take whatever steps are most helpful to you.

  4. Donna says:

    I will quietly wait here with you until you are ready.

  5. alicia says:

    Mrs Spit this is YOUR blog, you can put what you want to on here, no matter how long or short and people love you, so they will continue to read, listen and support. I can’t imagine this struggle you are dealing with, know I am praying for you and I am here!


  6. jess says:

    You are in my thoughts.

    I will wait until you’re ready to write.

  7. Aunt Becky says:

    I’m here, too. Right here.

  8. Hope's Mama says:

    Thinking of you Mrs Spit. I’m so terribly sorry.

  9. meinsideout says:


  10. B says:

    I’ve been thinking a lot about you.

    It feels a task too big to comprehend, the future with no children. But it is something I feel I need to face squarely, without turning or flinching, before I can take a step in any direction.

    It is as hard as the death of Maya. Only less tangible.

    Sorry to write about me – i think we are trying to achieve the same thing. And I am thinking a lot about you in this, as I try to find some courage for the task.

    love and tears

  11. Natalie says:

    Brevity has always been rough for me to accomplish, too.

    Sitting with you.

  12. G$ says:

    Much love to you hun. Hang in there and do what feels right to you.

  13. Ya Chun says:

    brevity is totally overrated. (you know how long my posts can get)
    My blog is where i work things out. I am here, reading, your thoughts, as they spill onto the page. in however many words you need to use.

    have you seen a repro. endocrinologist? I liked it yesterday (post in the works)

  14. excavator says:

    Take as long as you need. I’ll be waiting.

    Your writing is beautiful, just as it is. I wouldn’t change or delete a word.

    It is a very bitter cup you are being made to swallow. It’s impossible to swallow all at once. I think you’re right in the instinct that your energy needs to go inward, for you and Mr. Spit.

  15. CLC says:

    I’m here reading whenever you are ready. Sometimes its too hard to put your thoughts into writing, or takes a few days. I’m sorry for your heartache.

  16. loribeth says:

    Brevity? What’s that? (This from the kid who would turn in a six-page story when everyone else in class was struggling with the one paragraph the teacher asked for.)

    Abiding here with you too.

  17. Alice says:

    Dear Mrs. Spit,

    I really think you’re the …

    I’m sending you a poem

    because you remind me of home.

    I enjoy your blog

    even when you’re in a fog

    You make me realize many things

    sing bing ring ting bling

    Sometimes it’s easy to rhyme

    and othertimes it’s just not my time.

    I’m enjoying your pics

    and no, I’m not really a hick.

    Chin up my beautiful friend.

    and now this poem is at the end.

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