When I started blogging a year ago this time, I swore I would never be one of those bland, self-absorbed bloggers who apologized every time I couldn’t write: “Sorry I haven’t been writing—it was really time to cut my toenails.” But I misunderstood the nature of blogging and have therefore neglected its most important component—you, my reader. I’ll make that singular for now, since there is probably just one of you left after my heartless and unexplained absence.
I wish I had a really good excuse, like a cancer diagnosis or another pregnancy, but in fact I just stopped having good ideas about what to write. So now you know my deepest authorial secret and shame—I am unreliable. I dry up. I get writer’s block, or I just get absorbed in living life and soaking it up, and sometimes my sponge is deep enough to hold it all, nothing leaking out onto the page. Every once in a while it’s like that. But since I’ll always need somewhere to drip, I thank each and every one of you for hanging a bucket under the faucet, confident that someday again the water would flow.
So here I am again. I came back because of you. I have something to tell you.
I write to reconcile the life I think I am living, the life I hope to live, and the life I am actually living. Becoming a parent has put new pressure on this reconciliation. I feel as though my children demand a clarity of intention, an authenticity of purpose, a generosity of emotion and an urgency of action that do not exist in the real me. But all that can exist here.
In the real world, I do not have a room of my own. Even if I did, I have not yet learned to shut the door and ignore the pounding from the other side. In the real world, I write with my back to the sofa, the front door, the central freeway of my home, balancing on a ball and attempting to block out distractions with earbuds blasting. As soon as I sit down to write, the five-year old bounces onto the back of the ball, and the 23-month old reaches for the post-its, the mail, the space bar, whatever her fingertips can find over the edge of the desk.
Here, I can sink into the gift of reverie, let the grains of my days run through my fingers with soothing softness, find the glittering quartz or shiny pebble and set it onto the windowsill to admire the way it gleams in the sun.
So far, nobody knows about this place but me. It exists only as an invitation to myself.
And I accept.
Photo obtained from Google images. Please notify me of any copyright infringement.