The Small Beans of Your Life and Mine

Lately I have felt overwhelmed by the beans in my life. – L.L. Barkat.

I KEPT A JOURNAL, seen by no one. Started in 2008, after his diagnosis. It contained the small beans of my days, my thoughts. I was embarrassed to be keeping it, as if this thing was all about me, as though something important was happening to me. I kept it tucked away, unlabeled, unidentifiable, not that there was anything in it that couldn’t be shared, but the very act of writing in it, of thinking anything happening in my head, in my life, deserved a witness, seemed wrong.

A year later, my friend says, “I hope you are keeping a journal.” It’s the first time I admit it outright. Only then, and only a single word.


I no longer write, I tell myself, confusing writing with publishing, because by then I have stopped so much of what I used to do – querying, outlining, drafting, submitting. Another six months and I begin to believe the whisper in my head. I may never write again, like a swimmer claiming he’ll never swim again, all the while maintaining a constant stroke, daily going back and forth in the deep end of the pool.

This is the secret of the prolific writer.
To agree to use small beans and the ingredients at hand. – L.L. Barkat

It’s a crazy thing about writing and writers, that we often look for the big story, shoving aside the small beans, not realizing the story may lie in the small beans. It happens.

This post is a prose version of a post in verse written in October 2011.
Source: Rumors of Water by L.L. Barket, T.S. Poetry Press, New York, 2011.


About Marilyn

Reading, thinking, listening, writing and talking about faith, creativity, ESL for refugees, grief and finding the story in a story. Student of Spanish. Foe of procrastination. Cheez-it fan. People person with hermit tendencies or vice-versa. Thank you so much for reading.
This entry was posted in finding your voice, journal, Rumors of Water, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Small Beans of Your Life and Mine

  1. pastordt says:

    There are no small beans. Just beans – and they’re all good, needed, healthy. Thanks for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Belinda says:

    It is always good to hear what you have to say and I always leave here richer. Thank you for the bean story! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marilyn says:

    Thank you, Diana and Belinda, two faithful friends who have been generous with their beans!


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