I didn’t know. I mean, I knew March 1st was coming…despite the extra day; despite the apparently ridiculous amount of work that keeps coming at me from every, single, space in my life; despite the “surprise” family vacation that ate the school break without apology; despite the coughing daughter who probably needs to see a doctor; despite the new glasses for the son or the teenager that seems to be full of all the right answers and is in need of nothing but freedom…but I didn’t really know. I had crafted the first post many times in my head while avoiding any of the above obligations, but I still hadn’t fully committed. It wasn’t until this morning, at 5:30am, when I filled in my participant information form, which necessitated having my blog’s password reset, because, even with the best intentions, my daily writing petered out until it finally dried up in some proverbial corner of my life.
And then, finally, I reopened my blog and clicked: write.
Write. One word, in the upper right hand corner. Write. I was shocked when my throat tightened and my eyes filled and I touched whatever that thing is deep inside me that had been sleeping. No, not sleeping. It was more intentional than that. That place had been ignored. Neglected. Abandoned. It had been shoved aside purposefully, because it had grown last year, slowly, imperceptibly, inch-by-inch. Every day, at some point, last March, I had written. And published. Put my words out there for someone, anyone, to read and judge. And everyday I had read others’ words and comments and become, without realizing that it was happening, a part of a writers’ community. And my words mattered. And I cared. And I was feeling a bit more whole. And for some reason, that was scary. But I was forced to continue, to write every day, to allow my words to find some place to land and take hold. When March ended, I promised myself I’d continue, maybe not every day, but I’d continue. But there were enough distractions, enough reasons, enough of life interrupting and eclipsing, that the daily writing fell off quickly. The voice that had become louder each morning, in these quiet moments between sleep and Real Life got lost and I stopped looking for it. And then I allowed it to shrink again, and it shrank just as slowly as it had grown during the 31 days, until it went silent.
How could I have forgotten this feeling?? The completeness of writing, and rewriting…searching my entire being for just the right word, just the right combination. Making sure that the ellipsis–my absolute favorite mark of punctuation, for its unknown possibilities and its inherent forgiveness for not knowing the right words–wasn’t used too often. How could I have stopped writing?
I think this first post is really a post of gratitude. Gratitude for this opportunity and for this community and, especially, for those incredible people who know how necessary this is and keep inviting me back. Thank you, TWT. Thank you, slicers.