Making space

Anyone who’s ever worked in kindergarten or first grade knows that emergent writers often write strings of letters.

For example:   The flowers grow.

Sometimes the strings of letters are much longer and harder to decipher. A next teaching point would be working on the concept of words.

Enter Mr. Finger Space.

He’s a handy little tool for young writers, to facilitate their thinking about each word they’re trying to write and to begin making spaces between them.

I have, as you can see from the leading photo, a colorful collection of googly-eyed Mr. Finger Spaces ready to get to work.

Today as I passed by the jar, this gathering of Spaces seemed so beguiling that I thought: There’s a blog post in this. Somehow. 

I snapped a photo and went on my way.

I knew the accompanying story would come. That’s how it always works. A spark of inspiration, given time to grow . . .

This time it came pretty quickly.

As usual, it didn’t arrive as the expected story. Not about a little writer employing a cheery craft stick—I mean, a Mr. Finger Space!— to compose a sentence of separate words for the first time.


It came after a conversation with a colleague about her wonderful weekend getaway, reconnecting with old friends, reliving priceless experiences:

There’s so much I’d forgotten, that I haven’t thought about in so long . . . it was incredibly meaningful to have those memories come rushing back. How important they were, those times we shared. I loved every minute of remembering and at the same time was saddened by how much I’ve lost because day-to-day responsibilities take all my focus . . . you know there’s not room to carry it all around in your head all the time . . . .

You need to write about them now, I told my colleague. My friend. Those memories, while they’re freshly stirred. Preserve them before they leave you again. Spend time going back in your mind, immersing, and you’ll be surprised at what you can recall.

I know this to be true from my own experience, over and over again.

A sigh. The longing was etched on her face: Just how to find the time . . . 

That’s when the googly eyes of Mr. Finger Space appeared in my mind; I immediately understood the message.

Moments of love and laughter, priceless gifts, slipping away under the weight of just living. Fragile strings of memory running together until the beautiful meaning is nearly obscured . . . .

The only way to stave off such loss is to push this often senseless, insensitive, jumbled-up world back, if only for a few precious minutes, in the midst of every run-on day. To breathe. To plunge deep into the recesses of your mind, to know yourself, who you are, and what really matters. Feel the stories pulsing through your being. Fight for them, to keep them alive.

Find the words. They’re all there, within you. They just haven’t been put into organized form yet.

Make the space. 

Put your pencil to the paper. Just start.

The rest will come.

16 thoughts on “Making space

  1. After reading this, I understand the words you wrote on Kelsey’s SOL Tuesday post today. It all makes sense now.

    Yes, we must write. The beautiful memories, the horrible moments, the snort-milk-through-our-noses stories, and everything in-between. All of these dots on our timelines make up a life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s just it, Stacey – writing is about being alive. Living. Celebrating it, embracing it, being thankful for it, persevering through it. Life is a gift; so is writing. Worth every moment of time carved out.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This is the third reading of the morning of capturing old memories–first the TWT prompt, then a Facebook post about Venus retrograde (apparently stirring up old memories of the heart), and now your lovely piece about taking the time to write these heart-stirrings. I have a feeling I’ll be writing some more this evening!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s writing kismet, I tell you! The universe conspiring that we savor and save the memories given us, the stories themselves saying we are worthy … thank you, Chris. I want to read what you’re going to write along these lines. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Rose, I love that you’re pushing the world back to preserve these priceless moments with your grandson – the written story will be a treasure to you both in all the years to come. Thank you. 🙂


  3. What a perfect piece to share with my colleagues…one in particular…that I have been gently nudging to write! Your words validate my own beliefs about why I wrote, why everyone should write…because life is a gift and the stories of each of our lives are worthy of being written! Thanks for sharing!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so grateful to know this post resonates so deeply with you, Dawn. Thank you. 🙂 And I so want to know how it goes with the colleague you’re encouraging – I believe that story will come, and I can’t wait to hear it!


  4. What a wonderful piece. I love how you narrate the development of your own post today even as you encourage us to do what you are doing. I love your overflowing heartfelt exhortation, “Feel the stories pulsing through your being. Fight for them, to keep them alive.” Yes. Just start. Thanks for the encouragement!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, it is so important to “just start”. To prove that we are alive… I love this line from your writing, “Moments of love and laughter, priceless gifts, slipping away under the weight of just living.” It’s so accurate and speaks volumes on why we should write. Thank you for your words.

    Liked by 1 person

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