Live..To Write

Float Trip July 2014 North Fork 004

That picture is from a float trip a friend and I took earlier this year. We actually went on three float trips, and found out something…We like floating. This particular place had the clearest water you can find anywhere in the Ozarks these days. Icy cold spring fed water. Even in the deepest parts, we could see dinner sized fish leisurely enjoying the day. I am looking forward to more floating in the coming year. TWO OLD LADIES IN A CANOE!! That will be us!

This is significant for a couple of reasons. Anyone can write. That’s like saying anyone can paint. You don’t have to be an artist to slop paint onto a wall or canvas. But to really create something, you have to live a little bit. Otherwise, where will the words come from?

Both trips were a lot of fun and there were actually a lot of people (mostly drunk off their asses) people on the river. I saw some people doing some pretty stupid things. Strangers were offering to throw their Jell-O shots to us! But the neat thing was what else I saw. There were the girders of an old bridge, at one point, on either side of the river. It no longer crossed the water, but the concrete columns stood as a testament to travelers coming and going to someplace, even in the remote part of river we were on. Then, there was the bluff that had a steady stream of icy spring water that created a gentle fall into the river. Of course, there were homes, that had been built near the water’s edge. I have to wonder how they feel when it rains heavy and that lazy river becomes a torrent at their back doors. But as we canoeing newbies tried to keep our boat going in a straight line (with the front in the front and the back in the back), people waved from the shore, and even offered some  beer.

Life is a bit like a canoe trip. It seems like the point is to get your canoe in the water, keep it going straight, stop along the way for a picnic lunch, and then head into the docks. But if you forget to take a look around, you miss the nuances that make the trip worthwhile. The baby wood ducks floating near their mother beneath some fallen brush. Flat back turtles taking in the sun on an old log. That big fat fish that swam by, that would have made your grandpa giddy!

If you fail to take in everything…what do you have to write about?

Of course, I say this, and I’ve had more starts to stories than I care to name here. But there you have it.

Live. So you can write.

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