Sunday, May 5, 2013

When The Lights Go Out...

It used to be easy.

The day-to-day seemed rich in metaphor and double entendre. Words flowed. Thoughts jelled.

I used to write about anything and everything. I could find life-altering truth in planting seeds or pulling weeds, doing laundry, watching dogs lay in the sun... all of it was somehow complex and meaningful.

All of it resonated at a depth somewhere south of where I currently live, and I don't mean geographically. I mean vertically, but in an inverse sort of way.

There was this sickening sense of superiority there... As if I knew something everyone else didn't, or I'd discovered some great truths that needed to be shared with the world. I felt justified in my word-filled creations, even validated by their depth and truth. At least, I thought it was truth at the time.

Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn't.

Maybe I'll never know...

Here's what I do know: When we left the Pacific Northwest four years ago, I didn't know how long we'd be gone. Presumably it was forever. I didn't know life would route us through two other states and boomerang us right back where we started from. I didn't plan on scorpions or sheep bites, and I certainly didn't plan on the unforeseen array of circumstances that prevented me from finding my place in the space/time continuum.

Life taught me some important lessons, but none that I felt like writing about.

Mostly I learned how little I actually know... about life, depth, truth...anything really, and the deeper this lesson sank in, the more it seemed like I had no business writing about any of it.

So I stopped. For the sake of authenticity and a deep-seated aversion to pity parties, I just stopped blogging. I realized that all of this stutter-stopping I've done has been little more than a pathetic attempt to force land that needed to lie fallow. What kills me is, I should have known myself better. My writing mantra has always been "write when you're writing and when you're not... don't."

It's been an exercise in frustration. Not that frustration can't be a great teacher.

Still, like a canoe that's capsized, my heart just keeps spinning and I haven't been able to get back in the boat. Treading water. Conserving enough energy to survive, but not really swimming.

Some might say that this is enough. It sure doesn't feel like it. In those terrible moments of self-doubt I wonder if others feel this way. I can't possibly be the only dimwit in the box. And if that's the case and this case of abnormal is really just regular normal, then what's the fuss?

The point is, I have felt the lack - the absence of purpose and pointed observation. The pull of words.

I miss connection.

Purposeless drifting through time and space may have been necessary to empty me of all my preconceived thoughts, but it has also left me feeling like a beginner. Someone who knows just enough to shut up and watch how the big people do it.

Chronologically I'm solidly in the middle of my life. Emotionally I feel like a pre-teen - stunted and waiting impatiently for this enigmatic blossoming and with it some magical wisdom for navigating these impossible waters.

I know it's coming - the full circle return to a life of purpose and meaning, I'm just not there yet.

Maybe I just need to write about my questions, a friend told me recently. "The ones without any answers?" I wanted to say... Yeah. Those ones. Everyone has them, and if I'm going to be authentic then that's where I'm at.

Right here. Right now. In the middle of the great unknown. I might as well get comfortable...

So pull up a chair. I suppose it's as good a thing to talk about as anything else...

Lynda Meyers is the award-winning author of Letters From The Ledge and a sometimes-blogger who wishes she had paid more attention in canoe-flipping class. Read an excerpt of LFTL here.