There was a lot of background noise in my life this summer but I have no story to tell. I prefer the wordless approach to most background noise levels. But sometimes the background noise is hard to ignore and seems to overshadow the intended focus of life.
Pausing my wandering only added energy to my wondering nature. I’ve daily pondered the divisive polarization of political, social and economic realities that are impacting the collective citizen livelihood. I’ve embraced frustration; angst; disgust; and a good bit of “if only I could” beliefs that I openly shared with me, myself and I (to which they most heartily agreed). But to date I’ve remained blog-wordless on this category of wondering. I’m not making any future promises.But back to my wordless summer: Being action-oriented by parental training, I started the summer with an offer of service to a local church. Most churches go into overdrive during the summer months with community outreach activities. At the same time, with family vacations the norm, churches become short-handed with their paid staffing to cover the summer day-in-the-life administrative duties. So I freely offered my time to support any and all administrative staff functions that would help the paid administrative staff as they came and went through the summer months. My offer was greeted with a warm thanks and a too busy to take me up on it response. I’m still wondering about that one.
Perhaps my greatest productivity came in the form of shredding my past; literally. A trip to the local Staples store equipped me with a small, cheap, user friendly shredder; the type of shredder that only handles a few pages at a time and requires frequent emptying of a 1.5 gallon bin. (I give it a 5 star review!)And so I spent much of the summer going through files and files of old papers. When emotional exhaustion accompanied an extended trip through my personal paper history, I’d spend a good bit of time feeding my new shredder that portion of my life. It was incredibly therapeutic. I wonder how much money could be saved on counseling fees if paper shredding was considered productive at-home therapy.
But letters are quite different from papers and not so easily shredded—which is probably a good thing. I had three large boxes of old letters. I went through them. I read them. I cried; I laughed; I wondered over letters from names I didn’t even recognize. Some thanked me for dinner parties and for being a gracious hostess. I laughed at these as I can no longer imagine either. Some wished me good health. Some shared appreciation for past days as a teacher that influenced. Some simply shared heart-felt moments of their own life’s challenges, entrusting me with their life experiences. Some letters were authored by names I still hold dear but are long gone from my life. Some names are without recollection in my current brain’s data bank. And a few names are still in my life today. I grouped and filtered and now have one box of life letters. I don’t know if they will someday be read by those that come after me, or simply tossed as trash with the other objects of my life. It doesn’t matter. Today, they are my life-box of letters.
My summer was wordless in voice. But the background noise found focus when I truly listened.