I’ve taken a one-day magazine assignment to do “live blogging.” And now I realize this is a mistake because I’M DREADFULLY BORING.
I’m going to take a shower, sort my clothes and start to pack, while I consider my boring self. Writing has been such an enormous adventure for the past four years—how do I say this without sounding a) naïve, b) naïve like a fluff-head, c) like a clueless housewife who doesn’t get out much? Or worse, naïve-seriously-naïve.
Monday I will be live-blogging in New York. First I will carry my laptop (my most valuable possession) around the New York City subway system in a simple messenger bag, trying not to radiate the word “victim,” trying to look like I carry my most valuable possession every day and I never worry about it, and trying not to break my shoulder. Next I will walk into a hall full of well-dressed skinny women who are about to master the world, and I will subsequently remember that I’m from Farmland, Indiana and I’ll check to see if I’m wearing bib overalls and pigtails, or if my forehead reads “hayseed.” (It might. No way to avoid my wonderstruck-face.) Third I will say I’m headed to the green room for my press pass. Fourth I’ll figure out what to wear without sweating—jacket? No jacket? Fifth I’ll remind myself to eat something healthy so I don’t pass out. Sixth I’ll try to talk professionally, calmly although I’M SO EXCITED I COULD BUST. Seventh, I’ll try to feel EVERYTHING and write from the heart, which is what I’m hired to do.
The trick: how do I bring my whole life experience, in all its seriousness, to bear on a day blogging in a posh hotel? We all know I’m not dumb. How do I sound not-dumb while writing on-the-fly?
If you are a praying person, or a meditative person, ruminate with me and remind me who I am, that my story is worthy of attention. (It is worthy of MY attention. It’s my job to voice my experience as best I can.) Writing is a form of prayer, and what I need to do is to pray, and pray deeply, and to listen for the rumble below the crowd noise, feel the solidness of the earth even though real soil may be far, far below the floor. I need to listen for what others need.
Shaking off the nerves, packing a suitcase, remembering where I’ve come from and who I am, wondering how on earth to write this, for these people, tomorrow and Monday.
And maybe for you the day after.