A couple of years ago, I came across the "School Days" book of my childhood. You know the type. Each page has a pocket for putting report cards into. There are lines for filling in things like height and weight and What I Want to Be When I Grow Up. The pages look like this.

(gender specific much?)

I must have gotten mine in the first or second grade, because the retroactive filling in of blanks matches my writing from those years. And when I went back in time, I filled in second grade and first and Kindergarten with a tidy little X in the box next to the blank. On the blank, I wrote, "author."

It's been a lifelong dream, writing has. It's a think I have always wanted to get good at. When we were in high school, and had a Career Day, and heard from such visiting Career people as the longtime Portland newscaster, Mike Donahue, and the author, Walt Morley, I still wanted it. I remember which classroom -- which desk -- what he looked like when he said it. "If you want to be a writer, do two things. Write every day. Write everything. Read a lot, and then write some more. But mostly, live your life. Living your life will give you something to write about."

So that's what I've been doing. I've been writing and I've been living. It feels as if I have been gathering baskets of fibers. All different kinds. I didn't like what was in the Education basket, and so I went back to school and got a different Bachelor's degree (accredited this time), and then a Master's. These fibers are tough as well as beautiful. 

I have things in the Meta-metaphors basket, and smaller baskets ranged around that one, various baskets that hold the smaller metaphors, down to the word level, sorted into type and color so that I can twist them together before they go into the loom. 

I have things in the Philosophy and Religion basket, and things in the Health of Body and the Health of Relationships baskets. There are only a certain number of these baskets. Not many. There used to be more of them, but I've consolidated and weeded and given things away and made fires of some stuff to get rid of it forever. I've been gathering. Gathering. Gathering.

And now I'm ready to weave.

Bookstore. Writing. Home arts. Prayer. Bookstore. Walking. Writing. Prayer. Bookstore. Writing. Home arts. Prayer. Strength training. Take a hike. Cook a feast and clean up after it. Bookstore. Writing. Home arts. Prayer.

The clatter of the loom as the fabric becomes real is the sound of the life with which I clothe myself now.

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