• Karen

Centering the Writing

OR…what happened to the pictures?

If “when it rains it pours” my life is having a hundred-year flood.

Every day since November of 2019, when I spent the whole second month in a new quirky apartment sick, my life has been filled with challenges. After being renovicted so my landlord could double the rent, I moved into a place with low ceilings, uneven floors, and as I would later discover, mice. However, my schedule was still full, then I got the flu, and then I spent early 2020 making adjustments for teaching during Covid. There wasn’t a lot of time to ponder problems.

Months and months of lockdowns changed that. All the hours stuck at home revitalized my writing. I had some successes with flash fiction and poetry. I learned to love Zoom. And I began to feel a homesickness for my family and a familiar place that surprised and swallowed me.

In early 2022, my partner died. His death forced me to really examine my life, beyond my writing. It was time to change my life and start over. I was hip deep in this process when I got an email demanding hundreds of dollars for an image on a blog from a few years ago. Now, I’ve always tried to be careful with images, but maybe I made a mistake? Anyway, I spent an entire morning purging my blog of images. There’s too much going on to risk this happening again.

During the process I was able to review several years of my writing, and I made some interesting discoveries that I hope will carry me into my new life. My writing had a few stand-out themes.

Covid—okay this was the 800 pound gorilla in the room for a long time, but I’m hoping to stop dwelling on this. Which brings me to the next theme, reinvention and staring over. Life is not static, and we are always beginning again and finding new parts of ourselves. I’m hoping this will be part of new coaching work I will do once I’m settled in a new place. Finally, I discovered lots of my writing focused on me trying to be a better person and by extension making the world a better place.

The world is all too unkind for my tastes. My profession, education, is having painful adjustments as politics and finances begin to outweigh concerns about learning. Society is engaged in a massive reset, and I’m not sure we are making the best choices. It feels like my personal challenge is balancing my desire to make the world better while remembering to respect others – even those with whom I disagree.

Before I can tackle these lofty goals, back to the problem at hand. This blog will not have pictures any more unless they are my own original photos. (OR pictures someone has expressly allowed me to use). No more hoping I have read the fine print correctly on usage rights. If I center my writing, will anyone read it? I wonder.

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