The Cubs are up 11 to 1 against the Cardinals in the bottom of the fifth inning; the volume on the TV is turned way up, making the announcers shout over the hum of the aging window unit cooling the living room.
It’s Friday night, and I’ve retreated to the bedroom, wondering whether words will come if I open my laptop and open a blank document.
Here I am.
A friend who I went through yoga teacher training with knows I’m a writer, but doesn’t know me as a writer. She’s never read anything I wrote from the years when I really considered myself a writer — when I did it for me. So last night, two margaritas deep at a rooftop bar north of Chicago, I opened the browser on my phone and pointed it to my long-neglected blog.
I showed her a post I wrote in 2015 about snow. A piece from 2016 about the neighbors upstairs.
I skimmed the posts myself, snatches of paragraphs triggered living memories in me. Those words still live in me. I am a writer.
Once upon a time, those words were how I documented my life. I laid down hundreds, thousands of words just to remember how I felt. What I saw. How the world smelled. Now, words are simply how I make a living. A small shift in wording, but a profound shift in energy. In…joy. Or lack of it.
Earlier in the year, I meditated for months on end, religiously, every morning. Padded barefoot into the spare bedroom, pulled on cozy socks and sat cross-legged on the quilted gray cushion filled with buckwheat that I’d asked for as a Christmas gift. I would queue up the daily meditation recording on my phone and settling in for an 11-minute eternity of breath, alone with my thoughts while the world was waking up outside the window.
Writing was my meditation once. Maybe it could be again. Keep trying. This isn’t for anyone else.