I turned 36 yesterday.
I know I say this every year, but 36 seems like a good age to me. A good year. (Will I say this when I turn 40?)
I came across a word on my birthday that opened a torrent of memories. A simple word:
As part of my morning ritual, I've been reading creativity books after my morning pages. This is a sort of "as I have time thing." If I wake up late, I barely have time to scribble my morning pages. If I wake up early, I follow my writing with some inspiring reading. These last couple of days I've been reading an incredible Lynda Barry book called What It Is.
Amongst her pages on her life, creative writing, and word association exercises, I was surprised to see a word that I used to know so well but hadn't crossed my mind for years.
I grew up (mostly) in Pendleton, Oregon, which is in eastern Oregon—dry, high plateau desert. Tumbleweeds, sheep, cowboy boots, rattlesnakes. That kind of country. Anyway, seeing the word tumbleweed opened up memory after memory of my childhood. I wrote pages and pages and pages. And then more today.
It's amazing what a single word will do.
(And if you don't know what a tumbleweed is, take a look at these images.)