Lucy ran out of the empty room into the passage and found the other three.
“It’s all right,” she repeated, “I’ve come back.”
“What on earth are you talking about, Lucy?” asked Susan
“Why,” said Lucy in amazement, “haven’t you all been wondering where I was?”
In one of my favorite scenes from the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Lucy returns from a long day in Narnia to discover by her siblings’ reactions that she’s barely been gone a moment in Earth time. Writing this blog post feels a bit like Lucy’s “I’ve come back,” exclamation, only I really have been gone ages (please note that my last post highlights snow), whether or not you’ve all been wondering where I’ve been.
Over the past few months, I’ve tried explaining to myself and others why my writing on this blog dwindled and then stopped, such as that I’ve been busy anticipating and quashing my toddler’s creative attempts to shorten his lifespan (along with more nurturing pursuits); that my mind is full but words don’t come; and that it’s easier in this life stage to post on instagram, where the photo takes the brunt of the notice, among other reasons… All good reasons/excuses (my word choice varies by moment), but none striking at the heart of the matter. Then I found myself resonating with the words in this post, written after a similarly long hiatus on Sarah Clarkson’s personal blog. Words that deserve being quoted at length:
One of the reasons I’ve been absent is that its just taken time to figure out afresh what I wanted to say. In creative writing workshops, people are always talking about finding your ‘voice’. To a large extent, I think I dismissed this advice as over-complicating what was a fairly straightforward process in which one simply sat down and wrote. Whatever words and images haunted my inner thought – that’s what I wrote. There’s your voice.
But in the past year, I have discovered that there is a shifting of self that comes with some decisions, some new chapters of life, and as I’ve navigated the altered horizons of my world, I’ve actually found it difficult to get my hands on my ‘voice’ and further, my idea of the world. That’s definitely been reflected here.
But the quiet hasn’t been negative. Rather, it’s the kind of speechlessness you find when you’re quite surprised, when the world expands or shifts with the unexpected, like when a gorgeous bird settles on the porch rail in front of you, or someone calls your name from across a crowd and you see a long-lost friend, or a shout startles you from your sleep. For a bit, you can’t quite muster the words to say what you think about it all, you just live it. I’ve had a year of such startlings.
The last year and a half of my life has also been a year of startlings, of figuring out what voice to speak out of as a result of the “shifting of self” for which Rowan’s birth was a catalyst. I’m still not sure what that voice is, or what direction this blog might take, but I’m back, hoping to write a bit as words come, and to share glimpses of beauty that I find along the way.
Here, by way of beginning, are images from an evening where the golden hour seemed enchanted, and the hosta flowers like bells out of faery.
P.S. For nearly daily photos and random ramblings, you can find me on Instagram.