So as I’ve mentioned more than a few times, I recently printed out six years’ worth of blog posts into six not-quite-coffeetable books. Actually, to be honest, they’re nowhere-near-coffeetable quality. They’re A5, black and white, and spiral bound on the cheap. I just wanted a record, not a memento.
I have to say, it was a strange experience, hurtling through six years of my life in a weekend. Of course, much of it was about the blank space: the life that was going on in the background.
And it felt different from reading a journal because I knew that hundreds of other people had read it. Although I didn’t print the comments, I found myself remembering them acutely (and that’s a good thing, because they were nice). Also, a large number of people participated in my reflective writing challenges and, in effect, linked their story up to my own.
I recently reached out to those who used to commune with me in that space — the one named for a Hafiz poem — and invited them to join me here. If this is you: welcome back! I’m thrilled to meet you again.
This prompts me to reflect what has changed and why I decided to return.
After eighteen months of the writer’s equivalent of radio silence I find myself restless. There’s a muscle that needs flexing. A habit that needs building. A practice that needs refinement. (Passive sentences being one of them, hah.)
That said, I feel like I have a better idea of what I want to say now, what my offering is and what I am keen to explore in this space. Unlike my fledgling self of eight years ago, I am not writing to imitate anyone else’s style or inveigle my way into a particular conversation or attract certain types of followers.
And apart from all that: my life is different now. I’ve been through a lot and I’ve grown up a lot. Every single one of my significant relationships has evolved. There is a lot more space for me in my life.
I’m still pretty hard on myself. And people in my world still behave like a_holes from time to time. And life can still knock me over with the occasional tidal wave.
But that’s what walking the spiral path is all about, right?
I still consider myself lucky.
I love living with the mystery.
And I now know my name.