“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.” ~Anais Nin
“You were off all summer—you should have been writing!” chided my erstwhile friend. What could I say? It was true. I did have 8 weeks off, and only really had one week where I was away. Why haven’t I been writing? I had great intentions, surely, and I sat down at the computer countless times. Yet, each time I’d try I’d find myself dry, empty of beautiful words.
Earlier in the year I abused my voice by teaching on laryngitis and by the end of the term I sounded like a carton a day smoker with constant throat pain and hoarseness. After seeing an ENT and a Voice specialist, it was decided that I needed two full weeks of voice rest. I am a very relational person, and communicate for a living. Two weeks of voice rest had about as much appeal for me as two weeks of bed rest would for an athlete; but I did it. The first 10 days were unremarkable albeit long, then Marla caught a throat infection and I came down with it too resulting in an additional two weeks of quiet time. Now, I’m not complaining, really… there are treasures to be found in the silence when you listen, and I uncovered quite a few; however, I found a melancholy had descended upon my spirit that didn’t lift when the silence ended. The long season of quiet brought about sadness that I just couldn’t shake. I read uplifting books, worked at the church, listened to beautiful music, worked in the yard, and played with our child, but all under a gloomy cloud.
Somehow in the passage of the last week it has begun to lift. The stress has lessened and the enjoyment of creativity reawakened. I’m thankful for the return of enthusiasm and passion for each day’s undertaking and a lighter spirit and for the grace of God that never departs even when I’m low. Words are returning, beginning to flit through my mind like dry leaves stirred by the breeze.