[My Life as Spiral Notebooks; My Journals]
This summer, I am pretending to be the Jane Goodall of swallows. I sit on my deck sipping iced coffee and watch their silver underbellies dart and circle above me. I note swallows’ different altitudes on different mornings and hypothesize why. I note clouds, weather, what’s in bloom in my back yard. I plan to make meaning of what I watch.
But, you say, why don’t you simply go online, go to the library? You could read what the real Jane Goodalls of swallows have already observed; everything you don’t understand, all swallows’ peculiarities and behaviors will be nicely explained for you!
Yes, I know. Not seeking others’ info is the whole idea! Imbedded in that “I plan to make meaning” statement are a whole bunch of adverbs. Like “Haphazardly.” Like “Randomly.” Like “Sketchily.” Like “definitely not Type A-ishly.” And, most important, “Reverently.” (And let me just note how indulgent it was to write out that string of adverbs—which I tend to avoid because they are considered the sign of a second-rate writer.)
What liberation to let my own eyes and ears—and heart—be my primary source!