When I Miss Writing

Everyone needs to see this.

lake tahoe

This was my initial reaction to seeing Lake Tahoe for the first time.

On Tuesday of last week I drove the half hour from my hotel to see it. Many adjectives could be used to describe it but none would do it justice. I couldn’t believe what I saw. I wanted to stare at it for hours because it didn’t look real. After I got back to the hotel and was looking at the pictures I took I thought about the day and about the way it made me feel. For various reasons Tuesday was a tough day for me. As I stood on a giant rock at the edge of Lake Tahoe and looked at the snow capped mountains I wondered just what in the world I’m so worried about. I couldn’t put my finger on it. My boss and I had dinner at an excellent restaurant that evening and the food was tremendous. I find as much beauty in a well prepared meal as I do in viewing nature. If you disagree I think you are eating the wrong kind of food. When you have a bone in pork chop with a fried onion underneath topped with pickled mustard seeds you know what I mean.

Last week I didn’t write. I missed it. In the last two years or so it has become part of who I am. I feel lost when I don’t write. Not because I miss the feeling of banging on the keys and trying to come up with something others will enjoy reading but because it is how I process my thoughts. When I am feeling anxious or stressed and I write it helps me calm down.

I don’t think I have ever seen anything in nature which impacted me the way it did. I wanted to lean into it. We all want to feel something in life. The touch of a loved one, the movement deep within our soul which causes us to remember we are alive. Good writing does that to me. I recently read an article by Shauna Niequist where she describes getting a tattoo, “I remember the buzz of the needle from my first and second tattoos—that metallic rattle, high-pitched. It makes the muscles in my neck twitch, remembering the nagging pain that goes along with that buzzing sound.” It’s a perfect description for getting ink permanently imprinted on your skin. I have never been to a tattoo parlor (Is that what they are called? I feel like a 70 year old man referring to it that way.) but after reading it I understand exactly what it is like to be there. That is great writing. I don’t think I ever write anything which comes close to it. I also enjoy writing which makes you feel like you aren’t alone. I try to express it here.

I forget to look at the big picture but writing reminds me to look around. It’s easy for me to let time pass by without doing things I want to do. In the name of relaxing and cutting corners on real priorities I tend to choose loneliness instead of relationships. I choose comfort instead of adventure. I eliminate risk from my vocabulary and actions. When I do feel the twinge of discomfort I shut down. While staring at the lake I had several thoughts running through my head. What should I eat (always a thought no matter the time of day), I hope my battery doesn’t die on my phone, I don’t remember how to get back to the hotel from here…

None of these mean anything to me now. I miss writing when I don’t do it. It helps me figure out things and share them with others. It makes me want to do more. Staring at the beauty of Lake Tahoe I had several thoughts running through my head but one big thing which hit me was I miss writing when I don’t do it.