Did you know that Agatha Christie wrote novels in addition to her well-known mysteries? I didn't until last week! She used the pseudonym Mary Westmacott in case you want to search your library for them. The story I am reading at the moment is "Absent in the Spring" published in 1944. . . .
It is about a woman who spent several days as the only occupant at a two-man-staffed way station in the desert where she'd make her connection for the rest of her trip. She was on her way back to England from Iraq and waiting for the train which had been delayed by the weather further down the line. After reading all the books she'd brought and using up all her writing paper she was left to reflect on her life, something she'd never had time for or inclination to do before.
If you've been a long-time follower of Morning Musings you will have noticed my absence. If you don't count the posts I did about our trip to England, I only did five posts last year, and if you don't count my Gabriel's Tale posts, only nine the year before. By contrast I did 42 in 2012 (and I only started in May), 34 in 2013, 67 in 2014, 44 in 2015, and 44 in 2016! I'd started blogging because I wanted to connect with people. So what happened?!
These past two years I have felt like the woman at the way station waiting for her train to come in. I've had two long years with my thoughts. During this time I shutdown my Facebook page because I felt it gave the people I knew personally an out from contacting me directly for what's going on in my life. I know how easy it is on Facebook to check up on a friend or family member, see they are doing just fine, click "like or love" and feel I've connected with them. But the truth is, while I may feel I've connected with them, there really wasn't a real connection. Then I took the summer away from Twitter after being blocked by someone I'd thought to be a friend. I felt we'd actually connected in person at the Susan Branch picnic. . . .
. . . so I felt at liberty to try to help her with a problem she'd posted on Twitter. I thought that privately messaging her was the appropriate way to share this information, but she apparently was offended. She blocked me without explanation and because of the block my message was deleted even from my Twitter account so I could not go back and read what I'd written to see how it might have come across to her in such a negative way. Experiences like this have taught me that I too often try to help people who really don't want to be helped. This is not the first time I've received such a negative response, so why do I keep doing it?
During this time of reflection I was reminded how it took me years of gardening to start doing it just for myself. . . .
For the first many years I'd plant and weed and water and tidy up my garden for the people who would visit me. Rarely, it seemed, that anyone would notice--at least they never told me they noticed. The next time I was out in the heat or the bugs swarming my face I'd grumble to myself about all the work involved keeping a garden. Then one day--almost like a miracle--I realized it was OK to take care of my garden just for myself. I realized I loved my garden whether anybody else did or not! It began to give me great joy to tend it. I didn't need anyone else to notice--or approve.
I have gone through a similar situation with my children's stories, especially Gabriel's Tale. . . .
I think the story is the bees knees and can't understand why it isn't being recognized as such--but then, of course, I'd hope I'd feel that way about it since I wrote it! I have to constantly remind myself just because I love it and others don't doesn't mean it doesn't have merit. If anything, just writing it brought me great joy. For me it was an analogy of who I am.
After writing the original Poetry & Gabriel the Snowman stories in the late 90s I realized that I was both Poetry--the adventuress--and Gabriel the Snowman who was stuck in the backyard, snowbound. . . .
Gabriel's Tale, written in 2009, was my release! I was no longer bound by my inability to move due to fear of whatever. I now had legs and could search for my other half--Poetry the adventuress. But I have to admit those legs have been a bit wobbly. Just like Gabriel's crossing of the sea in the storm, finding my sea legs has been long in coming. Life is like a voyage across a storm-tossed sea where you often cannot see land....
How does all this connect you may be wondering. Well, for one thing I realized my need to help people (or so I thought I was helping) was a way to validate my caring for them. I didn't want to offer empty words of sympathy for their plight. It's sorta like the "thoughts and prayers" politicians offered after the school shooting in Florida that people railed against. We are ready for action! So, I'm not going to let my pricked pride keep me from trying to help people when I feel I have something to offer. I had offered it to my Twitter friend with the fact that I found the information helpful with my own similar issue, so I hope she did not think I was looking down my nose at her. Perhaps, I tell myself, I'd hit a sensitive spot that she was not ready to admit. I can only hope that in some small way I've moved her closer to a solution and not caused her to dig in her heels in resistance. All I know is if I do not remain open to helping people I will not rise to the occasion when I might be the only one available to help.
So, like gardening, like trying to help people, I've decided to resume blogging just because I enjoy it. It is a creative outlet for me. People can take or leave it--so please don't get offended! It will never be my intention to offend you! You don't even have to leave a comment. For those, however, who would like to encourage me to offer more morning musings, I've added a way for you to let me know the post was at least interesting. Boring you would be worse than offending you in my book! Just click the Reaction Button below my name at the end of the post.
With warm regards,