Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Do you count things?

Sometimes as I am engaged in other activities, I will realize I am silently and, until that moment, unconsciously, counting.

From the moment we are given social security numbers as infants, numbers regulate almost every element of our lives.

Phone numbers and addresses, pin numbers and account numbers, codes to unlock lockers, phones and iPads.

The number of times we have changed jobs. The number of times we have read our favorite books.   The number of dogs we have owned. The number of pets we have owned, which differs from the number of dogs we have owned and on and on.

And we all remember the commercials that Visa used to run assigning prices (or numbers) to various items and experiences, always ending with one most precious thing that was "priceless."

We can count and keep track of anything, everything

Here in Aruba, it is no different.  I am counting automatically and numbering my world--reflecting on my experience.

The number of pools at my hotel-one of which I will be jumping into today, when I return from  Church. The pools are on several levels . 

The number of churches listed in the Hyatt Aruba Guest Services Book. I am Episcopalian and there is no Episcopalian church listed.  We chose St. Anna Catholic Church.

The number of people traveling with me. My husband and dear friends.

Also the maximum number of people permitted in a taxi by law in Aruba .  We needed to take two taxis to church.

The number of beaches adjacent to my hotel--This is where I spent  the better part of yesterday.  Hmmmm---delicious ocean air, salt water, and cooling wind.

The number of places to eat and/or drink  at the Hyatt..  7 serve food and 2 are strictly bars.

This is our favorite breakfast spot. The lagoon threads throughout the property. Here several beautiful black swans swim.  In the morning the birds hover on umbrellas waiting for morsels of food. They swoop right down to the tables and steal sugar packets.

The number of restaurants and bars across the street from my hotel (or so it seems).

The number of stalls, shops, and stores from which to buy souvenirs, trinkets, necessities and unnecessary items  (or so it seems).

The number of new favorite drinks I have adopted--the Brazilian Caipirinha.  This is the next logical drink for a Mojito lover--it's a Mojito all grown up.

The number of palm trees outside my balcony and down to the beach (or so it seems).

The average speed of the wind each day in miles per hour.  Needless to say having a hairdo is completely out of the question.  I have given up on that count.

The number of times I have been to Aruba.

The number of wedding parties I have seen from my balcony, so far.

The number of places I have not seen in the world.  The number of places waiting for me to arrive.

Numbers can be a way to categorize and compartmentalize our lives.
Or we can use the numbers creatively to reflect on our lives, events and situations and symbolically represent ideas, make our point, or argue passionately.

My friend, Julie Johnson, reflects on her own life using numbers in her blog  post, Numbering My Days.

Arriving in my inbox on Monday, April 15, 2013, the  Poets.Org  Poem of the Day selection was Living in Numbers by Claire Lee, in which she numbers  personal experiences and reflects on her life.  

The number of poems given to me out of thin air, arriving just in time to include in this post.  Synchronicity. Serendipity.

And finally, I offer A Contribution to Statistics by Wislawa Szymborska, one of my favorite poets. Using numbers--or statistics-- she numbers our relationships and humanity, causing us to reflect on how we live out our mortality.

Today's Deeper Writing Possibilities

Think about numbers in your life.  Can you categorize and count significant elements in your life? 

What situations or events beg to be itemized and counted and listed.

Can you use the numbers in your life and your experience to make a bigger point?

Try writing both a lighter piece using numbers and also a piece that uses numbers to make a significant statement about your life or the world.

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