sitting down to write a post for the first time in a while, i decided to do a review of recent posts first. what i found - sitting in my typepad account - were 12 half-written posts from the past three months.
12 half-written posts.
i am stuttering. my heart and words and desires are all pushing up against each other, scrambling for the top. a writhing crab pile. a dark wood with branches seeking the prime light. something is emerging even though it is being strangled on its way. there is a narrative trying to be written. a story to be told. i just can't find the words yet.
friends of mine are buying yurts. birthing babies. having affairs. forgiving one another for having affairs. filing bankruptcy. moving out of the country. moving home. joining aa and getting sober. nursing their father through cancer. recovering from cancer. getting married in bali. getting divorced. selling everything to buy a sailboat. having makeovers & getting botox. going on holiday. walking away from it all. starting over.
each of them has a story that is unfolding. i sit here and i can see the motion, the details that add up to a story. a worthy, heartfelt story. a sometimes painful, truelife story. it makes sense from here, from where i watch. to them its probably as confusing as ever - disorienting like looking too closely in the mirror for too long and not recognizing the eyes staring back at you as your own. step back a few feet, shake your head and refocus. then you can see yourself again. this is the perspective i'm looking for. some distance in my own life to tell the story that is unfolding.
on top of being too close to really 'see' my own story unfolding, unlike some of my friends, with big things happening - whether they be tragic or joyful - my writing prompts these days are minimal. i am not pregnant (though i desperately would like to be, yet clearly not desperately enough for me to turn that into my story just now). we are not moving or going on vacation or taking a new job.
somedays i want an adventure. i want a story to wrap my days around. who am i? what are we becoming? what anchors the story that unfolds here on the pages of this blog?
rather than facing a challenge or marching off for adventure, our family of four is navigating daily things together - matt and i continue to link elbows and plow forward against vague uncertainties, a bit of monotony and occassional dark nights of standard angst but all of it is done with a singularity of purpose and hope for a bright future, with the certainty that there is nobody better for each other than ourselves. and all of this is puctuated by laughter and after-dinner dance parties and the happy voices of our children filling the house.
while important and incredibly fortunate when considering the alternatives, this doesn't all feel particularly story worthy.
is it naive then to expect one's life to be story-worthy in all of its phases and facets? maybe sometimes life is simply quiet.
some of my favorite stories revolve around tiny details. mundane details like the shelling of walnuts or sacred details like offering forgiveness after a deep hurt. i guess it is just time i started mining my own life for the details. the quiet, simple details. to start living again with my writer's heart leading the way.
a writer is not one who is necessarily well-trained or who has perfectly honed their craft yet. a natural writer - even those of us still waiting to be born into our fullblown 'writer-hood' - sees the world through a writer's eyes. a writer is a collecter of moods and snippets of conversation. a writer is an observer of light and shadow. a writer is a listener to sound and to the lack of sound too - when the airconditioner hums or when the birds in the backyard suddenly go silent. a writer catalogues singular moments like when the palms sweat, when anger swells, when a warm glow of pleasure fills the belly, when the first sip of whiskey burns, when the body sinks into the bed at night and notices the smell of the sheets. we watch and remember. storing up moments that become our truth.
perhaps my stutter then is an invitation to slow down and pay attention again. to listen to the whispers in my gut, to attune my ears, to focus my eyes, to open my heart...to notice small moments like this one: