Recognizing Patterns

Sad Sunflowers
Sad Sunflowers

Nothing really grows in my backyard, except for some opportune weeds in the spring and fall. We have large patches of empty sand (this is Florida, after all) and little patches of brave grass. We planted hibiscus that have never grown taller than hip-level and don’t bloom unless heavily fertilized. When digging the holes for the hibiscus, I found rocks. Lots and lots of rocks. I decided to try sunflowers, since they didn’t need big holes dug for the seeds. But I didn’t realize that with a yard full of rocks, the sunflowers would have nowhere to establish good root systems to support their tall stems. They were very pretty to start, but then wilted before we were ever able to harvest the seeds. I finally recognized that growing the plants I used to grow in Texas just wasn’t going to work in Florida, and especially not in my back yard. With all the rocks.

Sometimes it takes a lot of repetition to break through to realization.

In our daily writing, we will repeat ourselves from day to day, week to week. There’s nothing wrong with this, unless what we’re repeatedly documenting is a cause of distress. Like water to a fish, like the air we breathe, things we live with and through on a daily basis are just a given, not to be considered as needful of change, until we connect the dots between the alcohol and the dull ache we try to drown with it, between the binging (not necessarily food – could be shopping, gambling, hoarding) and the emotional hole inside we’re trying to fill, between the chaos in our lives and the person who seems to always be at the center of it.

Sometimes we just need the patterns written out in black and white in order to be able to see them at all. And sometimes we need to see them again and again and again. And so we write.