I’m always amazed when someone I’ve never met finds their way to this tiny corner of the internet. I imagine how they found this little spot I’ve carved out and claimed as my own. When their chance encounter with my online home allows my words to speak some nugget of truth, some gem of comfort, to their journey, I am in awe at the wonder of two lives connecting even for briefest of moments.
I’ve missed that feeling over the last months, but a few weeks ago a gracious reader left a comment on a post I’d almost forgotten. I wrote it what seems like a lifetime ago. Her words reminded me of why I’ve loved this space and were like knowing a warm cup of tea was waiting with dear friends. I knew it was time to come home.
So much has happened since I last stopped to share my journey here. So many stories that could be told, so many words left unwritten in the last few months as first I got busy and writing fell by the wayside in favour of other creative pursuits (being props mistress for Oliver! was so much more fun and so much more work then I ever imagined). Then words became hard to find as some stories I might have told weren’t really my stories to tell. Other stories were mine to share as I liked, but I was too deep in the story to know what words felt safe to share. I stopped writing. My nighttime writing practice dormant for months.
My need to write hidden behind a one-sentence-a-day journal, and then by the addition of a gratitude journal. Both of those rituals serve a purpose, but one sentence does not begin to cover the journey I’ve been on. The words of gratitude documented lovingly each evening have helped keep me sane when the story seemed dark and I became fearful. But at the same time, those small bits of writing let me drift farther away from the practice that most soothes my soul. When I needed to let the words of my heart flood the blank pages, those rituals allowed me to shy away from what I needed most. I’m not sure any of it would have found its way here, but my heart needed to pour out on the page before me. I was afraid what I might discover when the words were freed to live on the page even if I was the only one who read them.
I allowed myself to hide in the belief that those few words each day were writing enough. I allowed myself to believe that lie until I started to feel like I was losing myself. The self I’ve struggled so hard to find in the last few years began to slip away. Gratitude became harder to find. Joy became a distant village I could rarely find the path to visit. I had a choice. As someone rather famous once almost wrote: “To write or not to write, that is the question.”
It’s taken a bit, but I’ve been finding my way back to the practice that sustains me. For a while I needed to keep writing just for me and not think about whether any of it might be shared with anyone else ever.
I’ve been writing the story that is not all mine to tell. It’s in a notebook, safe and sound, recorded to let me see the truth of it with different eyes. Some day, I dream that I might share it but at the same time I pray that day for sharing will be forever in the future. For now I will continue to write it in silence, in solitude, and most importantly, in love for the one whose story it truly is.
In August, I decided to attend a workshop called “The Spirituality of Writing” at a local church. The workshop title called to me from the church sign. The idea of a safe place and consistent time to write beckoned in a way I couldn’t refuse. The workshop wasn’t really what I imagined, but the time and space to write was exactly what I needed. I started writing one thing, but then the story I needed to tell and was mine to tell began to find it’s way onto the page. The words flowed. My truth, that I’d been afraid of finding, seeped out in the ink on my notebook pages.
When the first evening of the workshop ended, I knew I wasn’t ready stop writing. (Have I mentioned how hard it is to find a coffee shop open after 9:00 pm in Victoria? Thank goodness for a Starbucks close to the university campus!) An hour more there. A break for laughter at the “car shark” in the parking lot. Another hour or so more at home when it became obvious the words weren’t ready to stop even though my body was ready for sleep. I haven’t gone to look, but one of the lines in my gratitude journal that night should certainly have been about the freedom of knowing I could sleep in the next morning on my Friday flex day.
I know I’ve only hinted at many stories left untold. I’d like to tell you that I’m going to be here regularly with a warm cup of tea waiting for you, but I can’t make that promise. This part of my journey seems to need more reflection and I’m not sure where the path is taking me. There is definitely much in my world that is aching to be recreated, but I’m not sure when I will be ready to tell some of those stories in such a public way. I will make one promise to you and to myself. Even when it feels like I cannot tell the story out loud, I will keep telling the story. The pen and the blank pages of my notebooks. The screen of my tablet. The slideout keyboard of my phone. All of those will record my story and when my heart says the time is right, the stories I need to share will find their way to my little corner of the internet.
Even if no one reads the words, a writer writes because she must. So I continue to write, because as someone else rather famous once almost wrote: “I write, therefore I am.”