Home Is a Big Word
I may be stating the obvious, but the beautiful thing about paying attention is that the obvious doesn't become a given. Just this morning, I've read pieces in my groups by writers grappling with such deep and real topics -- resilience, intergenerational stories and trauma and healing, climate change. And I am just so humbled and moved.
It is not easy, this writing thing. Sitting down and making room and facing into things that may feel too big or too tangled to tackle. Starting, and then staying with it and not succumbing to overwhelm or internal criticism, takes commitment and gentleness and ferocity.
I myself feel as if I haven't been writing at all. A small voice of alarm rises -- you're not writing! You're never going to write again!
I hear this and know it's not true. I hear it and take it as a signal to pause and breathe and trust. The only thing standing between not writing and writing is a set of narrow requirements, contrived by a thought that wants me to believe it's a tightrope act -- one wrong move and I will fall, fall, fall. One different letter and falling becomes failing.
The truth is somewhere else, as usual. And that somewhere else is not far away at all but rather right here. It is here in the tapping of keys, in the release of words. This may not be "the writing" I have in mind to do, but guess what? It is writing nonetheless, and I will say it again: Writing begets writing, even writing about not writing!
Aviva and I were talking in the car yesterday about how neither of us has written at all yet about Israel. It is too big, and may take some time to process and translate into language. The trip was so immersive, and yet now that I am back home, Israel feels both far away and like it's hovering all around me. The disconnect between being there, the land itself, the people, the air, the food, the stone, the way every square inch of the country holds a story, and the political situation, the human rights abuses, the chasm as wide as the Ramon Crater in the Negev between the "sides" of the conflict, is almost too much to hold.
The writing will come, in time.
One thing I know: It is my home. Another thing I know: There is so much to say about this. Home is a big word.
This Sunday, I will carve out time to return to my Patreon writing, one word at a time. In June, I will offer a Sound of Real Life Happening group -- 11 days of writing 11 things with 11 people (you!) -- and I think I will use that practice as a way of diving into the trip.
And this, too, counts. This, too, is writing.
If you are being hard on yourself, expand your definition. Sit for a few minutes and write some words. It doesn't matter so much what they are. Send them to me and I will say, "Yes, this counts.
Such a privilege, this work. Thank you for continuing to entrust me with your stories, your tangled explorations, your topics you would sooner avoid but know hold necessary and real truths, your discoveries, memories, and living questions.
Let's keep going, alone, and together.