I recently moved back to “home.” It’s funny, because soon after I started this blog, I was faced with the possibility of moving home, and thought I’d “worked through” being “okay” with that, and then it didn’t happen. At first I was surprisingly upset, and then I tried to see the ways and means of why things happen. God, I’m so naiive. We can never know “ways and means”, not even in retrospect. Perhaps we can better see why, but never WHY.
I stumbled upon an old Ways We Are Lost Blog soon after landing in Texas last week. I remember thinking “wow, how did I write this? Where is this voice? Where has the concentration and inspiration disappeared to?”
Change is, yes, good, but also difficult. It pushes and pulls our boundaries, our comfort zones. I’m finding that when this happens to ME, I get a bit lost and regress. I begin acting like I haven’t learned the lessons or matured up the mountain as far as I have in the past couple years. It’s like, in fear, I run down the mountain, or deeper into the forest like a child defying the power she cannot control, without knowing that she never had control anyway, and she’s just getting herself into deeper trouble than if she just obeyed, stayed still and enjoyed the crazy ride.
And everything so wrapped up in writing, because for me, writing is my compass. My touchstone. My prayer.
Since moving home, words have caught in trees on my wind shield, but I can’t take them into my body. Perhaps I’m not ready, or am simply in need of settling into some sort of routine. But it breaks my heart a little.
So I’ve resorted to reading poems and embracing them for the love of how they feel in my mouth. I’m lonely for you, I say.
Lonely for the connection I’m missing between myself and the creative flow.
I can hardly pray anymore. prayer being so closely linked to writing for me.
But I should wrap myself in silence and take it in as if itself was a poem. To appreciate silence is wisdom.
Sometimes I feel like a little girl in a wood, scared of making a noise, of breaking a twig, of even crying out for help. What if I make a noise and something large and overpowering comes out of the shadows and I don’t know how to calm it down?
Writing, Charles Simic once wrote, is the closest one can get to the psyche.
I’ve lost touch with mine. And oddly, not only have I suffered, but the people I love have suffered because of it. And the latter, in so many, many ways, is more important.
So I’ve become immature and impatient. And scared. I fill the void with useless worries or insecurities instead of standing in the void and waiting for what appears. I’m afraid I’ve not only run off my shadow, but also others who maybe saw me as a stronger person.
One thing I’ve been humbled enough to realize in this time of silence (and silence is such a beautiful birth-place) is that everyone comes into our lives for a reason, and everyone is God appearing to us and teaching us the most amazing lessons about our scars, our darkness and our imperfections, weaknesses, if we choose to see, if we choose to listen. The important thing is to learn, then let go. And not to hold on to anything as though it is our possession. People are not our possession, the images we have of ourselves are not ours to hold, our talent, gifts–what we think we’re “good at”–nothing is ours to possess. Things come, things go, in patterns and at the right timing.
Sometimes I’m at the top of my game. Sometimes I’m in tune. Sometimes I’m in touch. Other times I’m lost. And that’s ok.
Since I’m not writing anything other than short little poems that are maybe or maybe not beginnings or ends, I’m left to grab moments of reading and trying to stand still in the silence in the wood. So last night I read a poem by Charles Wright called “Clear Night” and a certain stanza caused me to feel strong again. In touch again. Learn to be grateful for those moments, I told myself. And, You will write again. You will find your strength again. Be kind. Be kind.
The stanza read:
I want to be bruised by God / I want to be strung up in a strong light and singled out. / I want to be stretched, / like music wrung from a dropped seed. / I want to entered and picked clean.”
After reading, I immediately wanted to write. My body tingled and I felt a longing for not only WHAT the poem said, but the ability to express how the poem expressed. So I sat there and waited. Then I wrote a few things out. Then I realized that it wasn’t about that. If I’m to be in silent-season (what I’m now choosing to call writer’s block), I’m going to honor it. Besides, what I did write was flat and stillborn.
I believe, at times, our subconscious recognizes shadows of things-yet-to-occur. And I think my subconscious leaped at those lines by Charles Wright because today, what those liens described, and the unfolding of the last couple months, is exactly what has been happening to me.
A cleaning from the inside out. Isn’t it painful? But worth it.
Being lost is painful, isn’t it? But I choose to believe it’s also worth it.
And the girl, afraid to make a noise? I think it’s time she start dancing. Let the wolf come. Let them meet. Perhaps he’s simply her shadow and is meant to make her stronger once they merge and forgive each other.