Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Words and Sharing

I've only been gone since Thursday, but I still feel that strange nervousness, like seeing an old friend for the first time in ages and feeling unsure of where to start.

It's not you, it's me.
Life here is wild and full. It's rushed and then it's the slow drip of sap in a bucket.

It must be spring.

A few days ago I lamented to Cory, "I can't find my thoughts." My words, the ones I type and maybe even the ones I speak, come from those things that turn in my mind, loose fistfuls of gravel banging around until at least some of the edges are smooth. "My feelings have run dry," I said. "I'm numb."

Without missing a beat, he responded, "You've said that before. They always come back."

I knew he was right. I know it's true.

My house is full of commotion and my head is fixed on the solitary work of translating the tangled truth of my heart into the linear shape of paragraphs and chapters. It makes for an interesting existence.

What I know for sure is that this blog is an extension of my home.

You guys are my neighbors, and I need you.


I've spent half a decade trying to imagine what it would be like to write this book, and it feels nothing like I thought. It's consuming. It empties me out. It keeps me in a state of walking backwards in order to really see where the good light falls.  It's exhilarating, the best kind of challenging. It's slow and fast. It's like waking up, line by line. The day is bright and the sun feels so nice.

I spoke to an Important Person a few weeks ago and told her the truth, that people assume I was a writer, so I started a blog.

In reality, I started a blog and then became a writer.
For me it was backwards.

 
It happened word upon word, settling into that white house down the sort-of-long lane, sinking my hands into the earth, rocking babies, flying to Korea and back, weeping hot tears into my pillow and believing for just a moment they might never stop spilling. We lost jobs and gained perspective, we walked away from chapters that were closing and fumbled in the dark for what would become of us.

I became a writer as life made less and less sense. I wrote because I wanted to, and then because I had to.
 
We all have a story, one that's meant to be shared. It doesn't matter if it's told on paper or over mugs of gone-cold tea.

You are among my favorite sharing places. You've met me in some of my most vulnerable places, and offered yourselves back to me. Don't ever believe that's a small thing. You guys have carried me, and I know I'm an awkward load.


I might be a bit more scarce around here for a while, but I'll never, ever quit you. And since I'm already sitting here with my wringing hands and morning hair, I'll go ahead and ask you to pray for me if I come to mind.

My writing prayer for myself is usually the same, "Give me the words to say and the courage to say them. Let them only be Yours." Feel free to crib my prayer, though I have a feeling yours might be a bit shinier.

I'm not sure what life looks like for you today, but I'm guessing it looks something like mine. It's probably full of shifts and lurches, that hilly terrain that gives life its depth and beauty. If you want to tell me about it, I'd love to listen. If you're the quiet kind, that's okay, too.

Just promise you'll share it with someone, because that's what I know for sure: We're all better off together.

Happy Tuesday, Homies.

Ever,
Shannan