when i was in university i would wander through new and used bookstores. they filled me with awe, and hopelessness. i would trail my eyes across the spines of books lining shelves; books stacked on floors, books propped in windows. there were so fucking many. so fucking many. how could i add to that i wondered? should i even try?
before having children i spent lots of time reading novels. i liked to line my own shelves with them. i would make satisfying piles by my bed. they were both comforting and distressing. at university i studied english with a capital E. i read so much. and wrote about what i read. but what i really wanted was to write a novel myself.
so before having children i braved the beginning of a novel. i didn’t even know then that i would have children. i spent years writing and researching. i spent hours avoiding writing (maybe more like months!). hours reading my own words aloud. i spent days and days and days struggling and muscleing with words. and then i stopped. i got pregnant and stopped. i piled the pages in boxes with lids. i slid the boxes onto my shelf. for years my words rested beside the words of my favorite authors. somehow that was enough. i made it be.
i will be forty in may. most of the books i read these days are about horses; i read them aloud at night to my children. i am fueling their fire, i know, but i don’t mind. i am rather drawn to horses myself. sometimes, just sometimes, i read just for me. and when i do i am still equally overwhelmed and inspired.
i took the two small boxes filled with the beginnings of my manuscript and hid them under my desk. they have been there for over a year now. i don’t usually open them. and only a few people have peeked inside. i am not sure what will happen with this story. for now i am not ready to begin it again. maybe it is not ready for me. i am not sure.
but something fresh is beginning.
i have been holding this dream and this fear of story writing for over 20 years. i am choosing to breathe both into this dream and into the fear. i have opened a new word document; and i am beginning again.
i haven’t written a blog post since november. since my trip to the ocean. since the winter took me into hibernation. it is now nearing the end of march. things are just hinting at thaw. the feelings i often have in bookstores, the worry that there are too many stories and not enough room for me, explode when i go online. there are so fucking many blogs, and articles, and videos, and facebook posts. so much sharing. so many wonderful things. and so much nonsense. sometimes in the midst of all these words i want to hide away. sometimes i want everyone to simply shut the fuck up.
i suppose this is the balance i seek. times of quiet. and times of sharing. the stories i tell myself and the stories i tell you. maybe there are never enough stories? maybe there is room for them all?
and surely i need to spend more time with my new word document then on facebook!!!!