“A writer’s notebook is not a diary. Writers react. Writers need a place to record these reactions. That’s what a writer’s notebook is for. It gives you a place to write down what makes you angry or sad or amazed, to write down what you noticed and don’t want to forget. A writer’s notebook gives you a place to live like a writer.” - Ralph Fletcher
I practically watched 9/11 from my kitchen window, I tell people.
So now, in 2012, I obsessively scan the News. I’m always watching for warning signs, a hint that something terrible is about to happen, again.
I read. I analyze. I ask a lot of questions. I need to understand the world I’m in.
I need this because I must protect my family. I must let them know if it’s time to run, or when it is time to duck, as I tell my friends. I’m the family look out.
And so, I think when I externalize that, when I project that obsessive monitoring onto Twitter and Facebook and other social media, I think my underlying motivation—protect the people I love with information—is what people respond to.
Then again, I could be wrong. It might just the “retired ass model” thing.
If you have taken this rubble for my past
raking through it for fragments you could sell
know that I long ago moved on
deeper into the heard of the matter
If you think you can grasp me, think again:
my story flows in more than one direction
a delta springing from the riverbed
with its five fingers spread
Jonathan Shay, Foreword. Flashback: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Suicide, and the Lessons of War. Boston: Beacon, xi