I have been at a loss for words lately. I’ve had lots of ideas about what to write, but nothing spurred me on to sit and put the thoughts on paper. I couldn’t even come up with the opening line, of any of the stories that swirled around in my head. To be honest, they weren’t even stories, they were “snippets” of stories, in a sea of nothingness.
I had even stopped reading other people’s stories and blogs, because I was afraid that I would get an idea from them, and then somehow pass it off as my own. Even as I was comforted that many of them were telling my story, the fact that they put those thoughts into form and I couldn’t reinforced my “writer’s block”.
During this time, a dear friend sent me a message that she was “gutting out” some old papers and included a picture of a note written to her by my mother. When I saw her handwriting, I started crying, and then I noticed the second page. It had a scribble down one side, and my mother had added a note. “This is Shelly’s letter to you!” I was doing the “ugly cry” at this point. I remembered all the pads of “pretty paper” that my mom always had on hand for when she had to write a letter to someone, and how her handwriting was so beautiful and precise. What was most significant to me about that note was that she wrote “Shelly”, the name I was called when I was younger. It connects me with that little girl who didn’t have to try so hard to be who she was.
Then I completed a mindset challenge with Tuba. One of the lessons was to share your gift with others. I wrote in my journal that I love to write, and that I would share that with people who are important to me. The problem is, we don’t “write” these days, we type. We use computers, or cell phones, or tablets, and we type.
So, I went in search of “pretty paper”. The kind that comes as a note pad with a lined piece of paper that you put under the one you are writing on so , blthat the lines will be straight. It’s not so easy to find. I settled on computer paper with clouds and a rainbow, and a new gel pen, and I kept them on the desk for a week, unopened and unused.
There are so many people that I wanted to write to. Honest to God, pen to paper, share my feelings kind of writing. I was getting overwhelmed again, so this week, I found this quote from Maya Angelou and printed off some pages with it as the header. Then I sat down with pen and paper and let the words come. As I picked up each piece of paper, a name would come to me, and so I would start with that and the words started to flow again.
I wrote 6 letters and the time flew by. When I was finished, I put each one in an envelope. Some I dropped off in mailboxes, some I mailed and some I delivered in person. I was able to watch as some of the recipients read the letters, and some I heard from later, but the feeling was the same each time. It was a part of me that I shared with them. Words that flowed from my heart, through my hand to the page.
The process has helped me to reconnect with my intention in writing this blog. I want to share stories, and to share my life, the good and the challenges, and the moments in between. So, here’s to filling up another empty page!