it really would be better in my handwriting

i wonder if i'll ever go back and read this blog start to finish.  will i print it out?  will it just disappear into the cloud?  am i using that phrase, "the cloud" right?

i wish i had said what i wanted to say when i typed my last post.  i know the stuff i wanted to say is in my brain because i had thought it all out: thoughts about decay and the changing things and the staying the same things and how places disappear a little at a time. but when i went to type it out, i felt, i dunno, exhausted by it all.

i love telling stories here, it feels good to get it out and share and look at them on the screen. but there is always this itch, this sinking irritation of uncertainty.  i just never know if what i am saying rings true or sounds a little nuts.  this is especially a problem when i talk about my childhood and my grandparents.  i know these stories can be sappy but i don't care so much about that, as long as it all feels real when it falls out of my fingertips. it's just that i never know if i have given enough back story, enough information to leave the why-on-earth-does-she-care-so-much without question marks. storytelling is a funny thing, you know? you do it right or you do a disservice to a real and special thing.  that's a lot of pressure.

i don't really enjoy getting into the tiresome details of my life, all of the my parents divorced and i was their only child and so my mom and i lived with my mom's parents and her brothers and and and---there is just so much of this explaining that should be done, explaining that doesn't feel good to write and that doesn't really belong to me, anyway.  but is it possible to describe my feelings, to you, without it?  is it possible to describe my feelings at all?  telling you this stuff right now doesn't really tell you.  these words are shadows. they aren't even shadows.  they are letters from the alphabet moved around on white space.  they aren't even written in my handwriting.  they are just language.  the stories of that house and family can't be typed, not simply.  maybe in a great american novel or whatever, but not at one in the morning with my eyes half closed.

i guess i don't have to tell you all the details.

but i do want you to know how much i was loved and how much i am loved and how much i love them all back and how very much it matters.

(i fell asleep editing this at one am.  i'm just going to hit publish now and let the words drift off into space.)


  1. I hear you, Erin. And those who need to will understand and be encouraged and feel a little less alone because you shared yourself.

  2. I love this. I need to write like this more often... your voice shines through.
    I often flip through old journals and think of how brilliant it was that I wrote it all in my handwriting, that I cut and pasted things I liked from magazines. I wish blogs were like that.

  3. The good thing is that on the way to the cloud it brushes past a whole lot of people and adds something beautiful to their lives. I don't think we can ask for much more than that.

  4. Erin, that last post about your grandma made me cry cry cry. I don't know if it was your words or that first photo (my god, that photo) or both. Probably both. I lost my grandma too, who I was very close to, similar deal, but I don't think the details matter. Your thoughts and feelings stand alone. My grandma died a year or so before my baby was born. Maybe I wish I had a photo like that of them. Or maybe not - just looking at that one of yours makes me cry every time. I don't know if I could take it. Keep writing.

  5. The blog format is limited, and you have such lovely handwriting and journals. One nice thing about its format is that you don't have to give too much background. Whatever feels right, is. The storytelling snippets, if we keep listening, start to illuminate the past, both yours and our own. Details slip in over time, and we get to feel how various happenings are important, and maybe some of why, too.

    I love the stories you share, and you've never sounded crazy for caring. I'd love to keep hearing some of your favorite memories of or with your grandparents, if those things feel right to write. When my grandpa died, Casey & I tried to think of and write down as many memories as came to mind...and however poorly they individually came out on paper, the aggregate is beautiful. Just like your blog. Whether or not you reread it.

  6. Erin, I love your writing so much. You often so poetically put into words the complicated process that is thinking a thought and then trying to get the thought out into words. It's really a testament as to how gifted with words you truly are.

    I especially love it when your posts say something like "I was going to write about this, but then this other thing came out instead." That's kind of the beauty of the whole process of writing. I can totally relate.

    I often lay there at night breastfeeding in the dark thinking perfectly constructed sentences in my head about things that are really important to me... thoughts that I want to share with someone or at least record... all the while reassuring myself that they will not get lost, I will write them down later, even though I know that they are sort of lost, or changed, or something, the minute I have thought them.

    I always find it refreshing that yours is a blog that is so revealing and intimate, yet so mysterious and open-ended at the same time. You share a lot but without putting every moment of your life on display. That's pretty unique. :)

    Thanks for sharing with us.
    love, Katie (the_lovelybelle)

  7. I wonder that about my blog too...

    I just love the way you share with us. So honest and from the heart. Please keep telling the stories in your own, unique way. xo

  8. I, for one, love your blog. Your writing is very authentic. I don't even *know* you, but I feel like what I read gives me a good glimpse...

  9. I love the way your thoughts tumble out here and spread out like a comfy, well lived blanket (thrifted for sure). :)
    I've been contemplating the same. My childhood was not very....hmmm...how to say it nicely. Picturesue? So I usually end up writing, pausing, re-reading, editing...and finally writing something else for now. The way you gradually tackle it the bits is inspiring. Thanks!

  10. We don't need all your details - you put enough heart into your writing that your stories stand solidly without back story.

    I have such vivid memories of my childhood summers spent at my grandparents' home. Hazy days of swimming and twilight walks in the evening and falling asleep in the back of their car on the way home...that was my heaven as a child. I rarely explore those stories, but maybe I should take a cue from you and pour those things out.

    I wish this was in your handwriting, too. I love to see passionate penmanship. :)

  11. Look how sweet you are with your cabbage patch doll on Christmas Morning! :)

    It warms my heart to know you were loved so well.