birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

The Power of Writing

I should have written every day. My mother worried so because I did not.

Well, actually, she was worried because I was living in a war zone. And daily letters (had they gotten to her daily, which was most unlikely) would have reassured her that I was safe out of harm’s way.

But I didn’t write daily, or hardly even weekly. I’ve never been much of a writer, and especially not a writer of letters.

It seems that I have a brain glitch that keeps me from being in mind of where I am NOT. It happens with time, and place, and people. It is almost as if where I am NOT ceases to exist.

I feel odd—guilty and sick—admitting that. It must be some serious psychological failing. I mean I know a tad about attachment and normal human development—being a psychologist as I am.

Yet, it is the truth, albeit an odd one. I have never heard anyone else admit such a thing.

So, I did not write often enough to ease my mother’s fears. The resulting letters I received were laden with pleas for acknowledgement, for news of my health, for news of my avoidance of shells and shrapnel.

And, we could not phone—which I would have done more readily and more easily. Cambodia did not then have the infrastructure to even keep us in running water daily.

I loved talking on the phone. When I could hear the other, I remembered their existence. When I held the back and forth of each other’s words, I recalled the connection between us. And, being with another in person was a sacred joy to me.

I should have written daily. I should write daily.

I should write. Perhaps, it is a way to make where I am NOT stay real when I am away.

Sent by Owl Post

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