I walk a few steps, turn. Walk back across this room. Turn again.
I look down as I cross this space with my steps, study it like I’m looking for a lost contact or a straight pin or one of the tiny pieces of my soul that holds the rest of it together. There are pieces like that, you know. (Yes, of course you know.) I search for the words that I’ve lost, without any belief whatsoever that I will find them. My certainty that they’re gone for good is as strong as my wild hope that they aren’t.
Off and on for these last (almost) two months, I came back here, thinking I had things to say or, alternately, not having anything to say. I paced back and forth across these floorboards, hopinghopinghoping that a few words would have fallen in the cracks between them and that maybe I could tape those together into a collage or something, anything that would make sense or look pretty or maybe sound nice if read out loud.
So many of you write your way through your own hard times or uncertainty, and I admire you so much for that. You still manage to shape your words into loss and ache and joy somehow salvaged, paragraphs that melt and linger in the mouth like bittersweet chocolate. But when I needed them the most, my words were off somewhere playing a mean-spirited game of hide and seek. Thing was, I couldn’t even summon the energy to care all that much. Until I did. And then it started to bug the hell outta me.
Somewhere in there were the holidays and a long drive across states and states so that the kids could spend time with their father and so that we could visit my family in Michigan and Missouri. Then January tripped over the threshold with its snowy boots and cold and it was time to get back to work on some things in my life that needed my attention.
I took myself offline for the most part so that, among other things, I would have more time to work on a new business.*
As the weeks unspooled, it became easier and easier to think of this place as something that used to be, a place where I used to come to write and get to know all of you. I wasn’t sure if I would come back and unlock the door and turn the sign from Back Soon to Open. In fact, the longer I stayed gone, the more I wondered if it was just better that way. But the more I thought about leaving, the less I wanted to go. Apparently, just the idea of absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Over these two years since I began writing here, this blog has been many things to me. Blank page, confessional, touchstone, morning, midnight, warm blanket, dive bar, mirror, road trip, juke box, soapbox, backward glance, a pair of chairs and a view of the ocean, bridge, front porch, back fence, path, quiet room.
I’ve had the best company along the way, and in this time away, I’ve missed you. Sorry for staying away so long. Look, I brought cookies. (Okay, I didn’t, but I really should have…)
So these words are breadcrumbs. A little picked over by some winter birds maybe, and maybe without much substance. But even so, I think I can find my way back.
(Really excited about the new business, doing hand addressing for wedding and event invitations, place cards, menu cards, and more… It’s called J. K. Lettersmith, and I’d love it if you stopped by!)