Sunday, April 06, 2008

Sunday morning letters...

Years ago, I went to church on Sunday mornings. I'm grateful that my church of choice has evening services (at the moment, exclusively) as Sunday is the only day I get to lollygag in the morning, stay in bed until I wake up, get on the computer and catch up on my blog-reading...

When my grandmother was alive, Sunday before church would be when I wrote her letters. The "Sunday letters" became a ritual. I remember reading once in a magazine short story about a woman reading a letter from her sister. It arrived every Thursday, as her sister wrote her a letter every Tuesday. I remember thinking that was the way things should be. I have retained that bit in my mind for over twenty years. (Ah, those were the days, when women's magazines published short fiction.)

My life at the moment doesn't have that kind of discipline. Living alone, working odd hours, coddling my "inner child"-- all of these have ruined any kind of ritual, and I apparently can't even trust myself to take a walk five out of seven days. Depression doesn't help. Social isolation, which happens slowly and all at once, doesn't help.

But I do, for this one month, have this discipline: to write a "letter" to you, my readers, every day. Maybe with this small step, other small steps will follow. I won't fool myself that blogging every day in the month of April will solve all the ills in my life, or bring world peace, but it is a small step. It is one step.

One of my favorite singer-songwriters, Carrie Newcomer, is coming to Pittsburgh next Thursday. I work that night, so I'll miss it. Her song, "Take one step," is a reminder to me to just take the first one. (I looked, there are no online lyrics. Sorry. But her 1994 album, Angel at my shoulder is a great investment.)

As a diehard perfectionist (it's true), I often don't do things because I won't get it right. Reasons I've stayed home instead of gone for a walk: what if I don't get it right? This may sound silly, but it's true. For a walk to "count" in this study that I'm in, it has to be 25 minutes. Twenty five minutes of hard walking with a cool down of two minutes. Well, I could walk to get my brunch at Tazza (though they've stopped carrying my favorite tomato and cheddar on a croissant sandwich) but it wouldn't "count." So it's easier to stay here in front of the computer screen and starve. It looks silly in black and white (or black on pink) but this rule-ism is what rules my riddled mind.

My eyes are stinging with tears, Jewel is singing in the backround, and I think I might just have to take one step.

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