I began blogging over a year ago as a means of keeping accountable with my writing. I needed a place where, if I didn't write, I wouldn't have an audience, and since I knew I needed an audience to keep writing, I had to keep writing. (Circular reasoning I know, but it worked for me.) I needed to write in the first place because I teach writing, and I'm a firm believer that one must do to teach.
An unexpected byproduct of blogging has been discovering the worldwide community of kind, thoughtful people in which I have found myself. I've made friends through this writing experiment, friends who have checked in on me in the last week to make sure I'm okay.
I am okay. Thank you so much for checking. You've gladdened my heart in many ways for thinking about my well-being, even from so far away. I wish I could bake each of you a dozen cookies, your favorite variety.
I live in an area of Southern California that has not been directly threatened by fires this past week. Fires circled Los Angeles to the north, east, and south, but the central basin and its immediate suburbs are, for the most part, intact and not on fire. Evidence from the fires is everywhere though: soot has settled on the blue broccoli leaves, everything smells burnt, and our mountains, the landforms that serve as a compass to us all, are smudged with smoke.
At first I thought this week's sunrises and sunsets were disturbingly beautifully in the midst of all the destruction that encircles us here in the LA area. They seemed wrong--insensitive and mocking.
As this week progressed, my opinion of the skies changed. They don't mock; instead, they remind us how much we don't control. They also remind us that we need to take care of them, for on them we rely. I hope these fires and these skies serve as instigators for widespread change in our attitudes towards the world in which we live.
Tomorrow's forecast is hopeful: cloudy skies and gentle sprinkles.