I spent this week at the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama, with my mom, her sister and two of my cousins. It was fabulous, even though I'm not really a beach person - I'd rather wear baggy sweatshirts than skin-tight swimsuits any day! But one day I'll be old and crony enough for those extremely tacky mu-mus to be acceptable, and then it'll be "look out, beach, here I come." ... Naw, that's probably not true - I'm really more fond of mountains and the smell of the forest. So transplant that old, crony lady (in an outdoors-y equivalent to the mu-mu) to the Cohutta Wilderness, and you've about got it. A gratuitious preview of my elderly years - don't you feel privileged?
Anyway, the beach gave me plenty of time to read things that I'd like to read (top on my list was Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott - mmm, literary chocolate) and to otherwise spend time attending to my own random musings. I've noticed lately how often I find myself narrating what's happening in my world. The scenery doesn't matter - it could be a spectacular sunrise or just some buzzy bug flying from flower to flower. I find myself trying to come up with the best way to describe that moment, crashing words and images together like a toddler with a bunch of Hotwheels. I sometimes create characters out of bits and pieces of the beloved personalities around me. (But usually I stick to "non-fiction friends" - real people are so much more dynamic and colorful than any character I could come up with!) It occurs to me that this may not be a normal preoccupation. (Can we still be friends?) But then again, I'm always discovering that I'm not nearly as unique as I often dupe myself into believing, so perhaps I'm not alone!
And then, here's the other thing that I've noticed: all this mental writing remains pretty self-centered. (I mean, just look at all of the 1st person pronouns in this post alone!) Most of the time I'm content to amuse myself with my cleverness, and then saunter away feeling all enlightened and insightful, not to mention rather hilarious. (Ew, admitting that makes me feel so icky. As if y'all haven't already deduced that I have this problem. Well, it's true, so what can I do?!) All that to say that, as much as I like to daydream about writing something worthwhile and memorable someday, I think I'll have to wait until I've gotten over myself a little more. Okay, a lot more. Fortunately, Jesus isn't done with me yet - that day might actually come!
In the meantime, I owe a big thanks to all those colorful, dynamic characters who have been patient enough to read my self-centered drivel. So... thanks!