Without a weekly newspaper deadline, I’ve had little desire to sit at my computer and write these past two months. The sun is shining. The grass is green. The lake is warm. And we’ve been doing what people do when all those stars align.
No, I haven’t missed writing.
Now and then, however, a poignant phrase will catch and tangle my thoughts, and I’ll think about sitting down to write. The sweetest bliss will land in my lap for a millisecond and I’ll want to expound upon it. The changes in my children make me smile and sigh, and I’ll want to share all the beautiful details in words.
But I haven’t guilted myself to get back to it. I haven’t set writing goals. Or used social pressure. Or any pressure, for that matter. An organic return is what I want, what I am waiting for and what I deserve.
Writing can knock the wind out of you if you’re doing it right.
And I’ve been trying to catch my breath and get my grounding for over a year now. It’s HARD to feel unwanted and unwelcome. Awkward and out of place. A social pariah, even.
Over the past several years I wrote some truths, which I saw as 97.5% generalizations about politics, religion and other hot button social structures. Sure, I took a welter-weight swing now and then at someone who deserved it, but it turns out my neighbors took it ALL very personally, even though for the most part I was writing about the world in general.
My words stung them and they stung back, though I felt more stabbed than stung. I had lobbed ideas and they had landed a sucker punch.
It was a gift, but it still hurt.
Until the wounds heal and I get all of the poison that was on the blade out of my system, I doubt any other writing will flow. It’s always been like that for me. Process the problem, purge, and then move on.
I am still processing the public shaming I was gifted.
She also wrote, “If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”
And, “We judge people in areas where we’re vulnerable to shame.” Which is exactly what I did. Sure, I was generalizing, but there were indeed notes of judgement beneath it all. My neighbors felt slighted so they lashed back harder than I ever could.
I want to be brave again, but I want to learn to do it with more kindness and consideration for those around me. After all, if they wounded me this badly, I must have done hefty damage to them as well. With time, patience and bits of practice here and there, my courage is growing. With it will come the writing.
I have sweet faith in that at least.