These were the first words uttered to me by my new writer friend, Jennifer, who sat next to me on my flight from Houston to Austin this morning. She did, in fact, lightly whack me with her ukulele as she eased into her place in 2C just to my right, but it was ever so gentle and she was so charming about it that we became immediate seatmate buddies, chatting the whole way to ATX.
After visiting a friend in Austin she is on her way to Denver and then Ohio for two separate writing workshops, the first of which focuses on journaling. We had an intriguing chat about the “rules” of journaling which, much to my delight and interest, comprise a very short list. In fact, according to Jennifer’s journaling mentor, there is only ONE rule: “Date it.” It’s not even important to journal daily as the occasional long spaces between entries speak for themselves.
Which led to a fascinating conversation about the importance of negative space…I love negative space. Frank Lloyd Wright was an architectural master at negative space. Willie Nelson leverages negative space to generate more emotion in many songs such as “Can I Sleep In your Arms”. And as Jennifer is quick to point out, “You can’t read a book without space between the lines.”
So it is in this vein I return to this blog after a month long negative space between posts. Summer is, after all, made for negative space. It is made for balancing out the other seasons’ energy of going and doing and achieving and conquering the world. Summer…spaces…yes. So here is a peek behind the curtain at how I have filled the negative space in the past month…
1. We had the most incredible family trip to Italy filled with laughs, art and food. And my four-years of college Italian even came in handy.
2. After Little Chick went to camp the Professor and I hunkered down in Mobile, Alabama where I finished the first draft of my honky-tonk book.
I found several ways to celebrate, one of which included splurging on really nice butter.
3. For July 4th we traveled up to the mountains in Cashiers, North Carolina.
This is where the Professor spent all of his summers growing up so it was wonderful to meet the friends with whom he worked and caroused as a high-schooler year after year at High Hampton Inn. These guys and their wives were such fun! Here we have represented: Ponte Vedra FL, Birmingham AL, Charleston SC, and Austin TX/Mobile AL.
And that my friends is a Cliffs Note version of our past month. In the spirit of honoring negative space I won’t go on and on. But I am curious, how have you been spending this space between spring and fall otherwise known as my favorite season?