Lisa-Jo Baker’s Friday five-minute writing prompt today: writer.
She never published anything, but she wrote. She wrote me hilarious letters when I went to church camp. She wrote me letters all through college, tucking in newspaper and magazine clippings she thought I’d enjoy, especially writer profiles from People magazine. She wrote cards of encouragement and thanks to her friends. She wrote in the blank journal I gave her for Christmas, less than four months before she died. She wrote in the end pages and margins of her Bible. She wrote on small spiral notebooks she toted in her purse. In one of them, between the to-do lists and arithmetic, she wrote something she had to tell, apparently for no one but herself: about a desire-inducing sunset riding home over the hills near the land she inherited, land she never got to build on. The sun was setting, and she wanted to see that red ball one more time. Dad drove over a rise and she did.
“Sometimes I read a book,” she told me once, “and think, maybe this is the kind of book Laura will write someday.”
I still have her journal, and the pen she used to write in it. I inherited her words. I’m inheriting her land.
What Seamus Heaney said: “The squat pen rests. I’ll dig with it.”