It's not that I haven't been doing a lot of writing lately... it's just that I haven't been doing it here.
I'm part of a writing group that meets every couple weeks here in Pahoa. We take turns hosting and meeting at eachother's houses. It's an intimate group of 8 or so, each with a distinctive style and voice. We usually take turns reading something of our own creation, then gently commenting around the circle, always with respect for the author. Since we've been meeting for several months now, we have a pretty good feel for each other and are able to give and receive useful feedback. Many of us are writing life stories, but we have each had such different lives! Some of us write poetry in various forms. There's a magazine writer who is working on a book of local lore. A retired professor with the heart of a Sufi poet. A performance artist preparing for poetry slams. Sometimes the works shared are humorous, others are sad, or practical, or evocative, or scary... I always come away from our meetings with such a good feeling, growing confidence, and inspired to write more!
I have a dear friend here on the island, but she lives upcountry so we don't get together often enough. Maybe only once a week or so. We do however send emails back and forth each day, and sometimes several times a day. Once in a rare while we'll pick up the phone, but mostly it's emails. We exchange recipes, list what we've done that day, give and seek advice, offer comfort, gossip... all the usual friend stuff. When we finally do get together in person, we're all caught up with each other's news, so it's easy to carry on from there.
My daughters got me started on Facebook a few months ago, and now I'm hooked. Many of my former 4-H kids have found me there, as well as some other Bonners Ferry friends. Several nieces too! I'm finding it a delightful way to keep in touch with those who I might not ever hear from otherwise, like my step-sister (hi Jenny!). I'm not out to collect vast amounts of online "friends", but I do appreciate the ability to keep in touch this way with folks I actually know. It's quick and easy to leave a little note on someone else's page, or to leave a short update on my own. With a few clicks of the mouse, I can check in with my girls and other FB friends. If a longer communication is desired, we generally switch over to email or - gasp! - pick up the phone. All this really helps me feel less isolated here on this rock in the middle of the vast ocean.
And then there's my journal. I still write every night before bed. This is something I started years and years ago, so there are many, many books now filled with a line or two, a paragraph, or pages of what happened each day. I will write a book about all those experiences someday... For now, they come in handy to look back at just when a particular occurrence took place: Was it just 2 weeks ago that we last went to the pool or has it been longer? When was the last big rain? What was the name of that beach where I almost drowned? It can be interesting to reread the days of my life. Sometimes I want to reminisce about my child-raising years, or relive the trips I've taken, or look back on our first weeks after moving here to our new home in Hawaii. And then, I find the right journal entry, and there it is...
But I haven't abandoned this blog either!