On learning how to live and how to write

002My tummy is comfortably round. I try to suck it in. Especially in crowds of people. I don’t want them to see my tummy all comfortably round. I want them to see my eyes and my smile. I want to fully engage with them. To throw my head back and laugh about funny things or let the conversation meander off into random things or allow pauses long enough for talk about deep things. But, I’m distracted because I’m wondering if they’ve noticed my tummy. Full and comfortably round.

Later, on the drive home, I wish I had mostly forgotten about myself and enjoyed more of them. And myself. I think that I’ll try to do better next time.


I wonder how to write. I wonder what it would be like to write in a free way, with no worries or fears of what people will make of it. With no pressure to come up with anything profound or poetic. I think about the ocean all deep and wide and vast and wonder what it would be like to see the blank page like that. No bounds. Just space enough to move around in and dive in if I’d like. To explore the depths or to glide, just to feel the words slip past. I wonder how it would feel if I came to this space just to splash and make ripples or maybe just to drift–hair drenched and floating along behind and eyes up-turned and all filled up with sky.

Would people stop reading? Would they shake their heads at the nonsense and carry on? Would they be patient with me if I tried to find what my voice sounded like? If I yelled simply to hear the yelling or squealed just for the fun of it? What if I made an awful raucous? Could I be flawed and messy and experimental and would people still take the time?


I know the way I want to be. Mostly just forgetful about myself in crowds, even if my tummy from here on out is quite comfortably round. And I want to write because it burns inside my chest. Because it’s fun to write and there’s something about words that have this capacity to reach out, across property lines and glowing screens to touch another person’s life. To skirt around the edges of a heart.

And I wonder how to end the posts I start. Should I always try to tie it all together? Should it make some sort of sense or rhyme? It’s hard to leave all awkward, but today I toss off all the pressure to try. I don’t worry about  making it all right.


  1. by shelleyontheroad@yahoo.com on May 15, 2014  2:43 pm Reply

    Maggie - I know exactly how you feel - I don't worry so much any more about my round tummy, I have gotten comfortable with my skin that way - but my writing, I worry, I worry that I can't tell the story that needs to be written, that I must always be positive, that I might offend someone who is reading, because most of my readers know me. I never want to offend, but I have to write with a true voice, and sometimes I'm not feeling very positive. Be you, always, and your readers will appreciate you, always.

    • by Maggie on May 15, 2014  2:52 pm Reply

      Shelly, yes, yes. We're in the same boat. Thank you for the encouragement. Today was my first time to write without worrying about all those things. It felt great. I'm gonna keep practicing this. Bless you.

  2. by Elisabeth Allen on May 16, 2014  7:22 am Reply

    I worry about my writing too. A lot. And I really enjoyed this post. Reading it is like reading a letter from a friend - bright and breezy and sunshiney as well as honest. Thank you for sharing!

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