When I Was a Writer

I recently told a friend that I used to be a writer, but that now I’m just an old grandmother with lots of stories. And grandmothers don’t often come up with new and exciting adventures to relate to their onlookers; even the best rehash and dig into their repositories.

I have so many stories. Not all of them are, to be honest, stories. Most of them are snippets, opinions, wisdom perhaps. I can remember warmly sharing the same ideas in the same words in a coffee shop in Ottawa to a friend I’d known for years; in a ritzy mansion-come-night club in Stockholm to a blond-haired, blue-eyed Victoria Secret model; and in a little garage restaurant on the outskirts of a Chinese city over my favourite three-legged dog to one of my students.

I’ve found that maybe they don’t have a plot, these little throw-away conversation pieces. But often they fall into the theme of living a beautiful life.

Eunoia is my favourite word. Not only is it the shortest word in the English language that includes all of the vowels, but it has the most incredible meaning. “Beautiful thinking.” …

Sky Lee once wrote, “Would you rather write a great novel, or live one?” That’s a heck of a question to ask yourself–would someone read this book that I’m living right now? …

Did you know that there are only 28,000 days in the average person’s life? 7,000 of which are when we’re too young to make decisions of our own. 7,000 of which are when we’re too old to act on our decisions. And we spend the other 7,000 sleeping, eating, and waiting in line. If you’re 18, you really only have 7,000 days left to live … and I don’t know about you, but I’m not 18 anymore. …

I’m not currently a writer, because, in Sky Lee’s eyes, I’m neither writing or living. I’m taking a break. Days and hours are going by that no one wants to read about. A book wouldn’t be beautiful if the author was negligent with his words, so despite the wonderful abstraction of hiding a mind beneath skin and skull, we can still assume that a brain is as average as the photograph it takes at the back of the home town coffee shop on the last day of a long weekend before going back to the drudgery of another week without stories.

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