I lost my voice. For four years.
Actually, I lost a lot of things between my last post and this one. A husband, to divorce. A neighbour, to suicide. A boss, to reorganization. A mom, to dementia. But I gained a lot in between too: a new job; a new home; a new partner. Oh, and the ability to swim! (But that’s another post.)
Since childhood I have maintained that I don’t really know what I think about anything important until I write it down. The act of writing has always been–or, rather, had always been–my way forward in life. Get it down on the page and all would, eventually, be revealed.
But something happened in the summer of 2013 after my then-husband made the choice to leave our 32-year marriage. The fragile cord that connects my cranium to my keyboard was brutally severed. Suddenly the Technicolor movie of my life was rendered black-and-white.
I could not write.
So I lost 10 pounds and embraced yoga and learned to swim and bought a new journal.
But I could not write.
So I learned to meditate. I offered up prayers in churches across Ireland and Mexico and India. I scolded myself for not trying harder, and for trying too hard. I drank a little more gin than was perhaps entirely good for me. I discovered who my 3 a.m friends were. I fell in love.
And still, I could not write.
And then just as I was starting to make peace with the idea that it was gone for good–that the long-held ability to know myself by scribbling on a page was lost forever–it broke the black surface of my depression, sucked down a long lungful of clean air and declared itself still viable.
I don’t know anything about anything any more.
So let’s do this thing. Again.