The River: How We Make Big by Elizabeth Howard

This post is part of the River of Stones guest post series, our mindful writing challenge. Properly notice one thing each day, and write it down. Click here to find out more. 
Today we’re very happy to host Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes: It is still a coming realization for me that I am my own person. 
Even when I was a little kid in a big family and I was deciding what I wanted to “be”, it was hard to imagine I could be just exactly who I wanted to be.
Part of life is the never-ending search for “identity.” It’s one of life’s BIG QUESTIONS… 
Or maybe, more accurately:
Who should I be?
In the last few years, I’ve been blogging around this question. Not in a BIG way. In many tiny ways. At “Letters from a Small State” I look at DETAILS and ponder: 
  • what role does this detail play in my day?
  • how does this detail shape who I am?
  • why this, and not that?
And so many other questions. 
Making or Not Making
My posts don’t try to look or sound like philosophy. They look and sound like dust bunnies skittering across the floor. And sometimes they sound like bitching and whining about the dust bunnies!
Simple, everyday details — like straws, unfinished projects, or security cameras — stop me because they are pervasive. They are looming reality. They represent choices I am making or not making. They are little, tiny representations of who I am. 
The content of my house, my town, is really a parade of who I am, however mindless the choice was. Keep that lamp my friend made for me. Donate these shoes I never wear. 
Expanding into the Small
Investing in details — not throwing money at them, but spending time and thought on them — gives each corner of our lives the chance to expand. 
Expand its meaning. Expand its value. Expand presence in our lives. 
When I stop to notice the details of my life — even as simple as these plain old black-out curtains on my windows– I have the chance to:
  • experience memory
  • re-establish connection
  • appreciate how small things help us create BIG meaning.
It’s pat but true: small things matter.
I am happy — so happy — to be participating in A River of Stones for this reason.
It gives me more reason to stop in my tracks. For a moment.
To see the curtains, and remember.
Dreary old things–
Hanging from the rods–forest green and black-backed–
I love you.
Husband came home
With YOU like a gold nuggets found
And we celebrated, putting you up
Walmart purchase.

You we loved in antithesis of every impulse.
You stopped the sun
You gave us one or two
Safe from the tsunami of 
*  *  *

Hi, I’m Elizabeth Howard.

Comments & replies

3 thoughts on “The River: How We Make Big by Elizabeth Howard

  1. SharonW

    Posts like skittery dust bunnies – wonderful! I’m realizing more and more, partly thanks to participating in River of Stones, how important vivid concrete images are. Sweep those abstractions out the door!

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