Work-in-Progress: An “I Believe” Manifesto of Sorts

Nancy Flynn Apostrophe Blog Archive, Wisdom, Writing

The Apostrophe Blog

Musings on Writing and Life.

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I started to work on what’s below way back in the Stone Age, dateline 2007. Some writing exercise that I just did without my usual scrutiny and questioning. I stumbled on it a year later on a Saturday morning while sipping coffee as we readied to start another outside gardening day. Looking at it again today, dateline December 2023, so much still rings true. As I edited to prep this for posting on the Apostrophe Blog, I added a few more items. It remains (still) a work-in-progress: 

I believe in dental floss and a good haircut. I believe that generosity trumps greed. I believe in eight hours of sleep every day when possible. I believe in fresh air. In fresh flowers and serif typefaces. In the healing power of scissors and glue. Singing to the radio while driving. 

I believe that I have a face that belongs to an earlier century. That in a past life I lived in Cher’s Brooklyn Heights brownstone in Moonstruck or Meryl Streep’s Village apartment in The Hours

I believe in wisdom over cleverness. Analog over digital. The paper book over the Kindle simulacrum. That a G.P.A. is no indication of intelligence or how well you will do in life. More and more, I am coming to believe that you can learn a lot about most things from Bob Dylan, D.J. of XM’s Theme Time Radio Hour

I believe you can probably find all you need in your own backyard. I believe in characters and their flaws. I believe in bubbles, watching them float, lift, and dive. That a rainbow blesses a day. That gospel music piped through P.A. systems might cure us of all our ills. And that the world would have been better off without the car. 

I long believed in the color green but recently switched my allegiance to orange. I believe air travel is alien, in spite of the fact it delivers us to astonishing places like Venice, Italy. I believe there isn’t much that a walk outside doesn’t help. That we need beauty as much as water and food. I believe it’s vital that we thank.

I believe people do not have to be mean to one another. I believe a person who treats a waitperson badly is not a nice person. I believe in smooth paper and blank notebooks and fountain pens and ink. I believe in money in the bank. For most of my life, I believed writers had the answer, no, I believed writing did. Only now, these overwritten days, I am coming to see I was wrong.

I believe I have a good heart, good intentions, the requisite humility and gratitude helpful to navigate most days. I believe, as Bryan Stevenson writes in Just Mercy, that “Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve every done.”

I believe we can overcome. I believe in amazing grace. 

Nancy Flynn
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