It’s the Year of the Pig, I hear. Starting tomorrow. I think of pig, piggy, how I used to worry when I first started doing writing practice with this group, way back before we were bloggin’, that I was being too piggy. Taking up too much of the airwave.
Then I realized, Aw, they can always delete if they don’t want to read. Of course, I never delete. I used to delete when I wrote with a huge group; you have to. But with a small writing community, and all being writers whose writing draws me in, I never delete. Ever. And it never feels burdensome. It’s strange how on this eve of a new year, I know that writing has become an integral part of my life.
I’ve written for many years. Many, many years. I started my first journal when I was 12, I think. It was the year I got a tumor removed from my right knee. My sister, who was ten years older than me and doing student teaching in a small town, came home that summer with a book order for me that she’d gotten from Scholastic. I always remember the smell of a new book order, that paper binding odor, how there’s something fresh about it. And the shiny unbent, unbroken paperback book bindings. And the cool titles. My kids get book orders now in elementary school and it’s the same thing. Back then I got a Summer Diary, not a hard-backed one but a paperback, a mustard yellow cover with a drawing of a lock on it. Inside in the first few pages were stickers: A Joke, What I Read Today, My Secret, My Favorite Color, What I Learned Today, News, and so on. I would peel off a sticker and put it in the day’s entry. I had to always manufacture whatever thought or bit of information I wanted to go with the sticker. That part was my least favorite; my most favorite was just being able to write.
The Year of the Pig, and I feel abundant like a pig. Or does a pig feel abundant? I feel full and big and round of belly and heart. Pigs in the Chinese zodiac are said to be generous. I feel generous and grateful for others’ generosity. For writing that has taken hold in me. And me in it. I still have the little diary my sister gave me. After filling out about half of it, I got tired and stopped filling in the rest of the days of that summer. I guess after spending two weeks or so in bed post the surgery, during which I had little else to do but write, I lost interest. I don’t recall if I ever had another diary, at least not until I was 23. I did get one at the age of 23. I still have it. And since then, for more than two decades, I’ve written and written and written. Filled many diaries and journals and notebooks. And now computer screens.
I wonder what I would find if I went to a Chinese restaurant tonight. Would they all be full? I’m craving a potsticker.