— Writing about driving??? an astute reader might ask. —This woman thinks she writes a lot about driving? Geez, her last six or so posts talk about the swimming pool! Not to mention the fact that we’ve visited that tired old that-was-then (before children), this-is-now (after them) rumination before.
The astute reader who pointed this out would be right, of course. I could retort it’s my blog and I’ll repeat myself if I want to, but I’ve only got about two people reading this who come to this site of their own free will and not because they’re searching for information on potty training by the signs. God knows, I don’t want to alienate them. Besides, I’m a little bugged by this pattern myself.
Ah ha! Therein lies the rub of blogs, or one of them at least. Off-the-cuff, written on-the-fly, or seemingly so, blogs might be most seductive in their immediacy. They’re not life by any means, but they’re more like the verbal equivalent of some running video-cam left pointed at a room than any writing that came before them.
We live in such a segmented world. A television channel devoted only to science fiction? Another only to labor-and-delivery stories? Who would’ve thought it? There are better examples (or at least more bizarre ones) out there, but you get the gist.
Though saying I’ve chosen “writing” and “motherhood” as my beat (with digressions now and then into nature writing) implies a bit more agency about the decision to start this blog than there actually was, I am writing within certain (self-imposed) confines. It’s a little like writing a sonnet, or a villanelle: because of the structural rules, each bears a family resemblance to the next. And because of the requirements of the form, a lot is whittled away.
And in my case, what seems to be left once all that whittling has taken place seems to be ruminations about youth, and the swimming pool.
But as we all know, the first axiom trotted out in a writing class is always this: write what you know.
And right now — apologies to everyone reading this stuck in an overly-air conditioned office out there somewhere — if I know anything, I know the pool.