I’m writing this from the dining room of the house that will, in two weeks, no longer be my home. Through the window in front of me is a view of my beloved field. The entire family has been fed, the breakfast dishes have been washed, the kids—all three of them!—have boarded the bus and are on their way to school. Life is good. It is so incredibly good. And yet, I can’t help but feel a bit wistful. Change is in the air. I’m entering a new chapter.
The photo above, which was taken directly across the street from our current house—in my beloved field—sums up everything I love about where I live and the kind of childhood I want my children to have. That day, a month or so ago, when we saw this double rainbow, I swore—as I’ve done countless times before—that we would never, ever leave this house. But as it turns out, the universe had other plans. We found a house that suits our needs better, only about a mile from where we are now. The kids will stay in the same school. They will even ride on the same bus.
But moving isn’t the only change. This past August, I attended my first writing workshop. It was, quite literally, a life-changing experience. I met the most incredible, supportive, and kind group of women, and I left with a clear sense of what to do next with my writing: I’ve made the decision to take a break from writing here, on my blog, for the time being.
I enjoy my blog. I enjoy the community of it. I love that I can write something and have it read by others right away. I even feel indebted to my blog, because it’s what got me writing again. But blogging—for me, right now—has its limitations. During the workshop I realized that there are certain topics I have avoided writing about because a blog doesn’t feel like the appropriate place for them, and it’s precisely these topics that I feel, like an undertow, pulling me in.
Just recently, one of the lovely women from my workshop shared this John Irving quote:
“If you don’t feel you are possibly on the edge of humiliating yourself, of losing control of the whole thing, then what you are doing probably isn’t very vital. If you don’t feel that you are somewhat over your head, why do it? If you don’t have some doubt of your authority to tell this story, then you’re not trying to tell enough.”
This quote sums up what I feel I must do right now. I must write uninhibited. I must throw caution to the wind and risk it all. And I must do so without anyone watching. To borrow a phrase of Dani Shapiro’s from Still Writing, I must take some time to write in the dark.
I might post here from time to time. I might not post for a long time. At this point, I just don’t know. But if you don’t see me around—if I’m not writing blog posts, active on social media, visible in the blogging community—it’s because I’ve retreated into my shell. I’m fumbling around in the pitch black, searching for the words to my story. I’m attempting to unearth what is scattered there amidst the rubble, pulling together the pieces of what will one day, with any luck, be worth sharing.
The group of us from the workshop, with Dani, our beautiful teacher.