Thursday, July 26, 2012

A reminder of random

I've been away from blogging for so long and have been making plans for a post on writing communities and how they sustain us. And I still want to do that, but life intervened last night with all its matter-of-factness to remind me of random.  In fact, a tree fell on our house.

old maple...our house
I'm thinking about losing that tree that has been a part of our house for these last many years. It was the tree where we took the first day of school pictures, the tree where the squirrels lived, the tree that shaded our house all summer, the tree that provided the piles of leaves for jumping, hiding, even roasting hot dogs in the old days.

But a writer never stops thinking about writing so I'm also thinking about randomness and what it can do for stories. It  surprises us, shakes things up, opens a space in the writing for something new. And we don't control the arrival of randomness--it just happens.

Of course there is the clean-up.

And the clean  up involves taking away the parts of the story that don't fit anymore. Even grieving a bit for the parts we loved--our darlings. But life is change. Writing is revising.

What would happen if a tree fell on--or into--my work? Or yours?


  1. Losing a tree feels much the same to me, Jackie. What chaos! What memories were shared under its shade! I hope the house was not damaged too heavily in the process.

  2. Our house was surprisingly unscathed--a few branches through the roof and a hole in the porch roof but not nearly as bad as it might have been. The worst is that much of our house is now exposed to sun from the south west. I want to plant a HUGE tree.

  3. Love this post, Jackie. It is a reminder of how much nature mixes and mingles in our lives. A tree really is much more than a single word; it's a valued and memorable place as much as it is that place to climb into and change our perspective for a spell... just like books, really.

  4. Indeed. And the trees we know well seem unique, don't they?