I mean, I sometimes wonder if I can still write fiction that peels my skin from the bone. Words I read back after I’ve written them and find that they speak to my soul.
It’s been a long time since I’ve written any fiction. My poor novel is sitting desperately among the cobwebs of my computer, wondering where I am. The short stories I once wrote are just that: short stories I once wrote.
The truth is, I’m afraid.
Because I wonder if I can still write.
And so I procrastinate and procrastinate until I don’t even try anymore. I know it is simply a matter of starting. But. I don’t even start.
I am too busy to scratch my nose, also, so that is one actual fact I can’t ignore. Even if I was brave enough to face the looming blank page, there is no time for that in these early stages of newborn life. These moments, now, are stolen moments I am taking back from Motherhood.
And I’ve chosen to give them to this place.
My heart place.
My home. (Where all of you are. My beautiful bloggy family.)
If history has anything to say about this pattern of me, I will make my way, eventually, to the place of bravery that allows for creativity to run free of the well. I will, once again, bring my whole soul to the surface of my world. I will create worlds, and lives, and beauty through art.
But that time is not now.
Now, I am here. (Happily, peacefully, lovingly I am here.)
Savouring these stolen moments.
Waiting for the baby to wake, running from the fears I know are lurking in the shadows.
I am not afraid to sit still. Here. Now. I am not afraid of this.
I sang about fairy lights as we drove. I remember. My tiny head bobbling about in the back seat while Mum drove us through the darkness to her weekly game of basketball.
‘I love your beautiful songs, Brooke.’ It was a line she’d repeat all the way up until I left home; the warbling six year old I was never did stop making up songs.
Fairy lights. They really were beautiful in the distance. Just window lights shining from houses on the horizon, a lot of them. So many it looked like a sea of twinkling stars dancing beside us as we drove.
I’m not in the most peaceful of places. Looking after a newborn is not the easiest of things, and it’s especially difficult when your body begins to misbehave. Mine has done so spectacularly of late, many thanks to all the regular post birth complaints. Crunch, screech, ache, sob. But life can’t stop because I am in pain.We cannot pause our children, we cannot pause the laundry and the cooking that must be done in order to keep us all happy and healthy.
Fairy lights. I needed something to get me through the chaos and through these achy, sleepless days. And here I am, typing away, every now and then gazing up at our ornamental bookshelf, tired but grateful for the unexpected burst of creativity that found me earlier. Fairy lights. I’ve strung some up around the bookshelf frame and it is the most beautiful thing to stare at them and just…let them take me somewhere.
I love my children beyond it all and I am grateful to even have a home and things to care for. But sometimes I need a breath. Sometimes I need to raise my head above the water and find one of the joys of my soul waiting to soothe me.
Fairy lights. Beauty bringing me back to peace, once more.
It’s funny, isn’t it. How we zone in on the things that happen in life that signal an ending of something and the beginning of something else.
They roll on in, these momentous happenings, and soon they pass: although we do wish we could cling to the beauty of them. We do wish we could hold on to their quiet precious hands just that little bit longer than they allow us to. So we can breathe them in. So we can close our eyes and know something bigger than ordinary is actually happening to us.
That’s a lot of waffling just to get to the point isn’t it, my lovely bloggy friends. And yet I’m certain you all know me well enough to understand that waffling is my way of holding on to the precious moments of my life a little longer than the average human might.
Without further ado…
It’s a girl.
A beautiful, darling, button nose girl: isn’t that just the loveliest thing?
She’s been flip-side of my belly for a week and a day. It’s been a foggy time. A time where my hormones have screamed abnormal things and my rational side has begged to make it all feel a little more normal than that. But I am perfectly okay, and that is just about all I am asking of this post birth phase.
I am being so, so, so well cared for by a husband I love even brighter the second time around. I am kept busy giggling at my other children who tumble around, daily, and so often remind me of tiger cubs at play (especially when the tiger mum nudges them away and gently snaps at their tumbling bodies, in order to pull them into line.)
The sweet divinity that lingers at the edge of life.
Writers and artists know it well. Actors and musicians feel it within their bodies. And none of us have any clue as to what it is. Not even those who believe, beyond a doubt, that they do know the source of this most beautiful, magical wind.
To understand this force would surely be like bottling and dissecting infinity. How could you bottle a never ending force like that? More to the point, how could you ever truly understand what it was or where it had come from? I just don’t think it would be humanly possible.
I read a book a little while ago, by Sue Monk Kidd, named ‘The Book of Longings’. I’ve been re reading it, and last night I couldn’t help but smile as I came across a familiar idea. The invisible divinity. She mentions it in the book, and right away I knew I had to share it with you all. Surely as readers and writers, both, you have felt this invisible magic. How beautiful it is to know we are not alone in our recognition of it.
The act itself of writing evoked powers, often divine, but often unstable that entered the letters and sent a mysterious animating force rippling through the ink.
Sue Monk Kidd. The Book Of Longings
At University, I studied writing. One of the units I studied was called, ‘Writing: Finding your Voice’ but the thing was…it never seemed as simple as that, to me. That we each have a ‘voice’ we can use to write with in a unique and beautiful way, or that one could simply ‘find’ this voice. Like finding a tennis ball beneath a shrubby, weedy bush in the desert.
All I can say about this mysterious voice is that I feel its magic arise when I relax my entire body and stop thinking. I’ve heard the phrase thrown about that, to evoke the force, we need to ‘get out of our own way’. To me, this is both entirely accurate and also impossible to comprehend.
Just whose way are we getting out of exactly?
And what, exactly, is the mysterious animating force behind it all?