I wake these mornings without the daily dread of a deadline. Like the dog that sleeps in the bed with you, I sigh and turn onto one side for ten minutes to look out the window. Then I sigh again and turn to my other side. I think about Time. Then I shift to my back, take up my phone and read about the daily horrors as recounted on the various news sites. After that, I really sigh, and as antidote, read my book for ten minutes, which right now is The Boys in the Boat.

I read this book both because a young person to whom I am deeply committed recommended it and because as a lover of old things – see awesome photo – I delight in being transported back to a long-ago time like the 1930s, when the action in that true story occurs.

old house

You wonder who once sat on these porches of a summer night, with the dews descending and the fireflies winking.

Speaking of summer nights, this summer just ending has been a strange one for me, because for the first time since the years when gals wore poufy hair like this…


…I have not been filing a weekly column. And as it stands I’m not going to be filing any, until October at the soonest.

I both chose this non-writing path and had it chosen for me in that the parent company that owns most of the papers I appear in announced in July it had no budget for freelancers at least until then. I know I could have done a Gandhi and kept writing for free but to do so would break solidarity with my brothers and sisters in the scribbling game. For about six hours after hearing the news though, I did feel I should go on sending a fresh column to the other papers that subscribe to me column and are not part of this giant chain. But then, sitting outside the dry cleaners at around 4 that afternoon, it dawned on me that this could be the universe sending me a message.

I asked the editors of these independent papers if they‘d mind my taking a break and they couldn’t have been nicer. “Take it!“ they said. “Take it by all means and we’ll be glad to have you back in October.”

And so I decided, I would take the time, and wouldn’t I have scads of it!

I didn’t have scads of it, of course. For one thing, our span of time is brief and swiftly passing no matter what we are doing. And for another, there were some family events, some joyful in the extreme and some that same degree of terrifying and to them I turned all my attention.

But over these weeks I did learn this, I did learn this: I learned that I feel at my happiest when I write, and that I feel most lost and somehow lonely when I don’t.

So, I’m back, ready to catch more small moments of Time in my little net and tell of them here.

Of course we writers never know who is reading what we write, if indeed anyone reads any more, but that’s fine. It’s the writing that counts, the saying what we saw. I have always felt my purpose in life was to do just that. Just as it says in that early-days Elton John song with its lyrics by the great Bernie Taupin, “My gift is my song and this one’s for you.”



20 thoughts on “Unhitched

  1. Of course people are reading what you write. But Terry, even if no one read it, I hope that just writing it is good for you.

  2. So many memorable lines in this hiatus piece, Terry. You feed my soul with these gems: “Our span of time is brief and quickly passing no matter what we are doing.” Boy does that make one think!
    “So I’m back ready to catch more small moments of time in my little net and tell of them here.” Applies as well to any creative medium. Your commitment to writing all these years has made your masterful!

  3. Dearest friend, you always have a reader in me, and what is there to say but…

    “I hope you don’t mind
    I hope you don’t mind
    That I put down in words
    How wonderful life is while you’re in the world”

  4. Thanks for the wonderful video of Elton John around age 25. Music, lyrics, lips, face, attitude a joy!

  5. Terry,
    My wife Roseann has been a professional artist. A sudden stroke in 2014 has robbed her of the ability to paint. Her speech is also severely affected. Her painting has always been her emotional outlet. The point of my writing this is to tell you to keep writing! It has been an important emotional outlet for you.
    Much of what you write resonates to others and your writing is truly a blessing for others. It says to others
    “In terms of my feelings, I am not alone…”
    Best wishes, Bill

    1. This meant a great deal to me Bill as I know it will to others who read it. Roseann has had a hard row to hoe but with your support and her desire I bet she is still finding a way to express what is inside her.. Thank you so very much ..

  6. Thank you for sharing your gift with us, Terry! Reading your posts renews my faith that most of humanity is kind and generous, although the news might lead one to think otherwise. And thanks, too, for sharing Sir Elton’s early performance of one of my faves!

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