I’ve been having a hard time putting words to paper – or screen – lately. My voice and stories feel tied up or dried up. Like even as I write this, I have little to no gas in my writing engine. My words feel too blah, too fake, too whine-y, too…absent. This isn’t an unfamiliar feeling to be honest, but there’s something about writing and making sense of things that force me to try it out again and again because when all is said and done, I know words (others and my own) satiate me in a way few things can. Words are so limiting and so expansive. As I walked with a friend last week, we talked about how sometimes we drop our own narratives, or they become fictitious. The false stories we tell ourselves, which have power to alter action and attitude, are the tipping point and axis of losing voice.
My friend and I went to City Creek Canyon by the Salt Lake Capitol. This area reminds me of walking around the sidewalks next to the grand dome with my mom as a kid, and in more recent years, running the trail and canyon on bright spring and summer days. I went there a lot when I felt like my life was in an all too familiar holding pattern. As I would run, with music in my ears, my rosy-cheeked self felt sure that being next to a gorgeous stone building juxtaposed with nature held all the answers, or at the very least would clear my head. Shift some life gears. And for the most part it did. Attitude and story-lines changed.
But this holding pattern I felt I was in then, I have come to feel many times over since, and am now pretty sure it is just the cyclical nature of life. This can either be kind of depressing, or not.
As we walked, I noticed the melting snow, the left over leaves, the air, and it was familiar in a good way. Nature and the end of February are both miraculous and comforting. So, why then are other patterns and cycles of life that seem to reappear, just annoying?
Because like the moon, your seasons, my seasons, wax and wane, limit, and expand. I believe there are seasons to let things ebb and recede to deeper waters. To wait and be still. When I sit with this image and idea, it feels like an undefined abundance may even live in the waiting. Like a quiet swell, the undercurrents pulling me out to sea to find patience and growth. But I wonder if sometimes I let this waning become a holding ground only because I’m tired of wrestling with telling and finding my true stories. There’s the beautiful image of being out to sea moving with the tide, and then there’s the stagnant feeling of standing in line at the DMV. I think we all know the difference.
So on our walk, my friend and I decided, sometimes you’ll feel as motivated as a sloth, other days as hopeful as the sun, but just walk and see what you see anyway, then dig deep, find some words, and your voice will appear. The lunar cycles and life cycles offer shadows and texture. Both have to do with illumination, so let your own shadows be seen, and work on that narrative walk by walk, and word by word.
What have reappearing cycles and stories in your life taught you? How do you view them differently depending on the narrative you choose to believe?