• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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Hey There Lonely Girl

For me, for most of my life, writing and loneliness went together. I was a lonely kid. I was perfected my chameleon skills in high school, I passed through college unnoticed. Every diary I have is a study in loneliness, is a sustained screed, a nursed wound, a bruise, a plum. Writing for me was not being alone. Writing was a great conversation, a balm, a salve, a bicycle built for two. I’ve been thinking of throwing them all away, the thirty or notebooks, the pages like cotton batting, the covers plastered with ticket stubs and photo booth pictures, and the silver backs of gum wrappers.

Why do you write?

11 Responses

  1. Sorry I have been AWOL lately. I have been preparing and packing to move. My very last move, unless life throws me another huge curve ball.

    Betsy, let me assure you, you are never alone. So many of us out here admire and appreciate you. It would probably be freaking embarrassing for you to acknowledge how much you’re loved. 😉

    I continue to write because I think I have the tiniest bit of talent and because I have hope and perseverance.

    As skeptical and negative as I may be, day to day, that glimmer of hope and that powerful perseverance linger on.

    That is enough.

  2. Do not throw them away

  3. writing is comfort when you need it, art when you enjoy it, and it also inspires others too, and since the word makes everything living come alive, your writing is possibly, a shy girls response to a very disturbed world, as everyone with a tad of sense knows too well,that this is a mad world, and the more we realize it, the choices are few,get used or do something about it, that’s life,thanks for the advice,and remember this too,not so long ago; you were considered unwell if you washed your hands too much, you were suffering from an illness they tried to say,while now, if you don’t wash regularly, your, well, unwell,so it’s nuts everywhere, amen

  4. Why do I write . . .

    This has always been a hard question. My reasons don’t stack up to years or even decades of whys. Well, maybe I have two decades under me, but I definitely had no clue or desire to write as a kid. I was too busy reading, tucked away in a small chair in my room, with the Colliers Children’s Classics – if I’d run out of library books.

    I started simply b/c I thought I could. Now I can’t stop. I don’t really have a reason, other than I love doing it. I love puzzling out scenes and dialogue. Creating characters, building them out, making them as lifelike and wholly real as I can.

    Don’t throw those out! Quit looking at them! Put them away. Forget about them. They are part of you. The day will come when you’d regret it – and I’d bet money on that.

  5. Don’t throw away who you were because it got you to who you are.
    I’m with Donna on this. Put them away. Stop the research of your past.

    Why do I write?
    When I wrote my columns I loved when people recognized me. The picture accompanying the column was a pic my daughter took for a writing gig years ago. We were in a rush and she said, “mom you need a scarf,”and haphazardly twisted an old one around my neck, I guess to hide a double chin. I am amazed (I retired the column years ago) and people still recognize me. I don’t even look like me anymore. I look like my mother and shes been dead for 15 years.

    I write because I believe I have something to say and that sometimes out there in the great unknown I can connect. Connecting is important now more than ever.

    • I just have to share. I took a gander at the column pic. It wasn’t a scarf that she draped around my neck to hide a double chin it was the dining room table runner.
      Um…and back then I didn’t have a double chin.

  6. I’ve always felt separate from the world while being a part of it. I’ve wrapped myself in idealistic armor that shattered easily with unkind remarks and harsh action. As a sensitive soul navigating a hard world, I started noticing things and wrote about what I saw and felt. Removing myself from situations is, I’m sure, some sort of self-preservation technique, but it’s also fostered a clearer vision of my world, for better or worse.

    You can throw away whatever you want as long as it doesn’t stop you from being you.

  7. I have thrown away old diaries/journals I have cringed over reading. Ripped out a few pages I wanted to keep/remember. So like MikeD says, throw away whatever you want. But that wasn’t your question, was it?
    I write because at 74, I still have something to say. Actually, a lot to say. And I do want to share it, to open conversations with people I don’t know. I was a lonely kid, too, who read everything and started to write. Not lonely anymore, even in a pandemic, as long as I can read and write. I guess that means I need to respond and be responded to. Connection. Thanks for getting me writing/thinking about it.

  8. I’m just embarking on reading my old journals over the last 40 years. I’m hoping to find some jewel among the pages, but so far that hasn’t happened. Still, at the time, writing those entries, some going on for pages, was important to me and I suppose it served its purpose at the time. Which I guess is why I write now. It serves some purpose for me that I’m not too keen to understand. I’ll just keep doing it.

  9. “Why do you write?”

    I started because I was alone and had no one to talk to and felt misunderstood and unloved. I’m not sure how much of that has changed. But added to that is, it feels really good when I get it right — when whatever it is I am writing works.

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