How We Make Big

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It is still a coming realization for me that I am my own person.

Even when I was a little kid in a big family and I was deciding what I wanted to “be,” it was hard to imagine I could be just exactly who I wanted to be.

Part of life is the never-ending search for “identity.” It’s one of life’s BIG QUESTIONS…

WHO AM I?

Or maybe, more accurately:

Who should I be?

In the last few years, I’ve been thinking about his question. Not in a BIG way. In a lots of tiny ways. I write about that, here. I’m asking:

  • what role does this detail play in my day?
  • how does this detail shape who I am?
  • why this, and not that?

And so many other questions.

Making or Not Making

I’m not trying to be some philosopher. My writing is usually more about chasing dust bunnies skittering across the floor.  And sometimes it’s about bitching and whining about the dust bunnies!

Simple, everyday details — like strawsunfinished projects, or security cameras – stop me because they are pervasive.  They are looming reality. They represent choices I am making or not making. They are little, tiny representations of who I am.

The content of my house, my town, is really a parade of who I am, however mindless the choice was. Keep that lamp my friend made for me. Donate these shoes I never wear.

Expanding into the Small

Investing in details — not throwing money at them, but spending time and thought on them — gives each corner of our lives the chance to expand.

Expand its meaning. Expand its value. Expand presence in our lives.

When I stop to notice the details of my life — even as simple as these plain old black-out curtains on my windows– I have the chance to:

  • experience memory
  • re-establish connection
  • appreciate how small things help us create BIG meaning.

It’s pat but true: small things matter.

I am happy — so happy — to be participating in A River of Stones for this reason.

It gives me more reason to stop in my tracks. For a moment.

To see the curtains, and remember.

Why.
Who.
How.
Now.
Dreary old things–
Hanging from the rods–forest green and black-backed–
I love you.

Husband came home
With YOU like a gold nuggets found
And we celebrated, putting you up
Ugly
Walmart purchase.

You we loved in antithesis of every impulse.
You stopped the sun
You gave us one or two
Added 
Quiet
Minutes
Safe from the tsunami of 
Them.

Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She teaches and speaks about the rhetorical impact of beautiful writing. A recent transplant to Connecticut, she calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home.