I’m really not sure what I am going to write about today.
I am sitting in a coffee shop in my little city of Wilkes-Barre, my favorite coffee shop here and one of the few where I feel comfortable spreading out chai latte, random papers, and planner. There are times when I think that Wilkes-Barre must be one of the most low-class, crummy, smelly cities in America–but here in this coffee shop the people are always sweet to me, the atmosphere is pleasant, and the hot drinks are good. I suppose every city has its sketchy Dollar Generals… And every place we go there will be the good, the bad, and the ugly. And am I forgetting some of the experiences I had even in the beautiful Juniata County, that place where I now tend to believe the air is always sweet and clean? Well, yes, I suppose I am. How hard it is to see things realistically!
Like I said, I’m not sure what I am writing about. That little vent about my city of residence was merely one of the things floating around in my mind. Shall I write of my sudden and unglamorous advent to motherhood? she wonders. Nah, no need to focus so exclusively on yourself and your story. Shall I write my most recent thoughts on grace for the moment? Surely most of my blog posts focus on that through one vein or another! My sister once said the theme of my blog seemed to be finding stars in the dark. I was flattered. But someone may become tired of Alison constantly saying, Gasp, “Look, there’s the Big Dipper!” What shall I write of? My life is surely no more interesting and dramatic than that of my readers–and from hospital nursing, to getting married, to journeying to Asia, to becoming a foster mom, there is very little continuity here for any reader to find an interest and keep coming back for more.
But still I must write, like I must pray, and sometimes the two are one and the same as I pour out long sentences of confusion and desperation to God, deep in the recesses of my laptop where no blog-readers can see and no private information can come to the wrong eyes… “Keep writing,” Ben tells me, when I lay in exhaustion on my bed in the evenings, putting into disjointed words all the things so hard to express: the frustrations of my day; the excitement of a baby growing inside; the feelings that I have come into a life I was not prepared for; the worries that my love, compassion, and ability to find romance in everything have run dry through the demands of making food even though nauseous, being a functional mom but not the “real” one, trying not to drown in paperwork and phone calls, and learning to care for my in-home patients… I am not complaining, there are many stars in the dark and although I will not be writing a comprehensive survival guide for first time pregnant mothers any time soon, we are, one way or the other, surviving. We even laugh sometimes, like when the little boy not only ran off with my stick of butter while I was cooking, but also took a big bite out of it before bringing it back. This may not be funny, but frankly, I thought it was–it seemed hilarious and largely harmless compared to some other behaviors we dealt with that evening. Ben smiled and said that he thought it was a good sign that I was laughing.
And so–I’m not sure what this blog post is about. I once wrote coherent articles about particular subjects. I once could make neat and orderly lists of reasons why and a variety of topics. Now, I find myself typing out musings that are rather like my life–varied and tied together by a thread that is there but almost invisible. Perhaps this is what it is like, transitioning from young, passionate, and knowledgeable to older, more responsible, and obviously ignorant about so many things. I don’t know.
I just thank you if you are one of those few readers who keeps coming back, keeps reading my writings through all these transitions, keeps empathizing and supporting me despite my lack of blog promotion and regularity and social media presence. You are the reason I keep writing somewhere other than just in the deep and private recesses of my laptop. You are the ones who realize that through it all I’m just a girl trying to live gracefully, always wanting to see God in each place he calls me, wanting to be faithful and help others see the stars in their own darkness…
And look, there’s the Big Dipper!