I've been writing in my black and white composition book all week long, scratching words on paper to tuck away for later. It's the first time since starting this blog that I've written so much that I'm keeping to myself.
It's a new experience for me, outside of my years of journaling.
I feel as though I'm tucked away, knitting a scarf whose length is yet to be determined. I have a style in mind, held loosely with the acceptance it may turn out entirely different. Or, I may never finish it.
I'm even hesitant to say this, but because I'm not attached to a certain outcome at this point, I'll make the leap of faith: I think I may have begun the process of writing a book.
Is it normal to be uncertain about something like this? It tastes like peace to me, but also adventure, the unpredictability of what I'm embarking on. I've wanted it for so long yet been unwilling to force it. I still am.
I always wondered if I would just know when it came to me, or if I would need someone else to point out the obvious. Would it be like uncovering a buried treasure, or would it be like growing a baby in my womb?
It's felt like both, this week. I'm uncovering a treasure that's been here for awhile, and something is growing in the womb of creativity. It took a dear friend to point it out to me, with a simple heartfelt comment. The seed was planted, and it may be too early to tell if it will make it past germination, but I'm embracing it nonetheless. Where it goes from here, what it becomes or doesn't become, is not for me to say. Only that I see it there, in the ground, and yes, I will water it. I will tend it, as long as it lives.
I have to say, I wasn't expecting to write about this seed. I wasn't looking for it. It's not something entirely original, and I worry some, that I'm borrowing from someone else's style and content. Did this come from within me, or is it merely remnants of inspiration gleaned from works I've read recently that settled deep in my soul? Does it matter, ultimately, as long as it is my voice, not an imitation of theirs? What is original, but the voice with which we each speak our common stories, when nothing is ever new under his canopy of sky and earth?
I must strive to let my voice be true.
Intertwined with my writing this week, I've been finishing a moving memoir, Refuge, by Terry Tempest Williams. I have savored this book and as it comes to a close, it seems more like confirmation than imitation that I have been reading it at the same time this seed is planted for a book of my own. She includes a poem in her final chapters by Wendell Berry, The peace of wild things. As I read it, the page might as well have been lit by a star. This, right here, is the essence of my seed, and he says it more eloquently in twelve lines than I ever could in an entire book.
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
I'll be honest, I'm fighting the urge to back out of everything I've just written here, to leave it entirely open-ended and non committal, so I won't disappoint you or myself. I am afraid of coming up short. But I choose, today, not to let that stop me. If this is my act of courage for the day, it is enough. And if this seed comes up short, in the end, it will not be a loss, merely a journey I embraced, a seed carried in my heart for however long it was given me.
It is enough.
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Linking up with Kelli and Jennifer