The tools.

I have a few minutes to write a post before I hop off to the next thing. So here I am, with screen before me. This feels strange, it has been a remarkably technology-free time.

I went on a hike today, with the resident naturalist and a bunch of other people. I think we all felt that we needed to get out of our heads. We've been reading a lot, marking words with pens, analyzing, discussing. It's been beautiful.

And every day the constant hills and valleys of self-congratulation and self-degradation. I'm pouring Cheez Whiz all over my brain with this stuff, who can think when they're thinking about themself?  I will publish, I will never publish. She's much better than me and I'm totally okay with that and I'm confident in my voice and who am I kidding I have no voice at all, just a dull whine in the desert, the whine of trucks in the distance. Nothing worth listening to. Maybe some air brakes thrown in.

So when that starts up I'm thinking about this:

The woman who cleans the condos on my floor is a small Mexican woman who reaches my armpit and is seven months pregnant. With her seventh child. I know because I asked. She smiles sweetly when we say hello to each other every day and she pushes this gigantic cart around and cleans all day, and so I will get out of my head and tell my insecurities to shut up already.

The first talk this week was about empathy and humility, two of the greatest tools in the writer's toolbox.

I'm learning about a lot more here than just writing.