July is Journaling Month: Joan’s 10 Minutes

19 Jul

Yesterday I put up a post about writing for EXACTLY ten minutes, then stopping. My friend Joan took up the challenge beautifully. This is what I loved about what she wrote: She was very much in the present–you could feel her being on a ferryboat, its smell, its sounds, its sights–but you also got a glimpse into her life. About her mother’s illness and death. About her closeness with her father. About the normal traveler’s dread of more traveling and of NOT having the bus there when she got back to the land. Where is she going? Where is she coming from? That part is a mystery, her mystery. But that makes it even more intriguing. Thank you, Joan!



“On the boat: hum in the background and through my shoulders. Quiet conversation of mother and son to keep others from listening. Quiet conversation of small children animated but conscious of being in an indoor space using their indoor voices. Odd sensation of not being able to smell the ferryboat smell but being slightly nauseated anyway. Powerboat racing across of the sound with a foamy trailing wake. The island receding. My eyes are tired. Not everyone in eyesight is drinking something but if they aren’t they are using their phones. Crinkling of a package of peanuts. Did he save them from a plane trip or did he actually buy them? I never see people eating those unless they are on a plane. His daughter shakes the ice in her cup. Another bunch of little kids being entertained by relatives who are not their parents. Lots of laughter. The new fabric on the seats would have been popular in a living room thirty years ago but looks fairly current in a Target sort of way now. Don’t really want to go home on the bus but please have the bus wait for me so I can get home as soon as possible. It was great to have time alone with my dad. He thought so, too. I got to go swimming three times in three different bodies of water in two days. Today was a perfect swim at Squibby where the water and the sky were just like the last day I swam with my mother. I don’t even remember what year it was or how much her Parkinson’s was showing though I kind of think maybe it was before it was diagnosed but after I knew there was something neurological going on. The guys sitting next to me have switched from English to either Spanish or Portuguese – they are talking too quietly for me to differentiate and I am only understanding about 1/3 of what they are saying. So it is probably Portuguese – which I can’t spell. Now they are speaking English again and I understand ¾ of what they are saying because I can fill in the blanks. Hot flash. Or else it is just hot. Several people are wearing sunglasses in the boat even though the lighting is fairly dim. The AC level is perfect. It used to be that it was either broken or Arctic. This is a good sign that people are learning to moderate.

That was 11 minutes because I stopped monitoring the clock.”

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