I’ve been sitting in wait for the change.
I took an unintentional break over the summer, spurred on by nothing more than a daily permission to spend my time how I chose. I found each day that I chose a healthy dose of stillness, taking in a luxurious amount of others’ words instead of producing any of my own. I spent time with my kids, though not enough time. I never feel I spend enough.
Two weeks in to the school year and I’m finally letting myself pick up a pencil, and find a quiet corner of my mind to stretch out the thoughts that have atrophied over the warm days of summer. The heat was too heady of an invitation to ignore when it suggested I set all aside and settle in to its languor.
I’ve been waiting for one cool morning, chilly enough to splash the sleep from my eyes so I can see the world around me like I do when I am actively writing each day. There have been sparks, suggestions of a vocabulary forgotten, but the pencil and the lined paper have stayed in the spot where I set them down in June.
I have become greedy for the words of others, in books, in blogs, in poems, in song. I have become wholly consumer.
I am not reluctant to sit and write again. I am not waiting in an illusion of promised inspiration.
I just wait.
But waiting has put a distance between me and the words, and we sit at the table across from each other, like old friends who haven’t seen each other in years, each unsure who should make the first move to the familiar.
I’m wondering if the words will sound the same once they’re down, and both of us wonder if my voice has changed since last we sat together.
Staring gets me nowhere. Staring doesn’t bring an inch of movement.
The pencil lay on the paper, and with a gentle hand, I pick it up.
It’s quiet all around me, quiet that fills me up.
I first have to work past a layer of self-imposed guilt. I must tamp down a shaking of excitement just under that.
Too many things come at once, too many images. I don’t have the strength or finesse of the well-exercised craftsman, able to whittle them down as they come toward me.
But just under the guilt, the excitement, the rush, and the mess, two words inch forward, peeking out of the summer haze.
To help me bring my blog out of its summer slumber, the next post will be by writer Tara Wiley, who will share her experience of bringing a family heirloom violin back to life.