Thursday, August 19, 2010

writing..."long after the thrill of living is gone"

So "Jack and Diane" by John Cougar Mellencamp came up on my ipod when I put rock music on for my baby girls to fall asleep to (yeah, don't ask me why it works) this afternoon. And I was struck by the line about how "life goes on long after the thrill of living is gone." It made me think about being old, like in my eighties if I am indeed so lucky. I guess the "thrill" of living, the main "tasks" of my life will have been completed. Children will have long been grown and getting to middle age themselves, perhaps grandchildren close to adulthood. Of course I want to be close with them, but they will have their own lives, lives that aren't mine. And hopefully I will have had decades of redefining my life, possibly my marriage, after raising children. Hopefully I will have old friends in my life and continue to meet new friends and find satisfying activities. Then I thought about writing. How I really hope that writing is still a part of my life. If I never publish a thing, if I never share another piece of work with anyone, I hope that I will still write for myself. When I want to reminisce, I will look through all the snail-mail letters and holiday cards, any journals I have saved through the years. I had better have a treasure trove of life experiences to inspire the writing. But it doesn't have to be just looking back. I can create whole new worlds to live in, even if I am the only one who knows about them. It might be nice to be 85 or so, sitting at a desk in a quiet space by a window, knowing my kids and their kids are busy somewhere, not even thinking about me at that moment, and I ignore whatever post-laptop technology is the current tool of writers and simply set pen to paper. I write. And it is thrilling.