I have felt, lately, that I have no new words. I do not have new things to say. I have said it all already, even if I feel the desire to express the same feelings and thoughts over and over again. For when expression does not bring change, and does not bring some new revelation, then it starts to feel useless. Words do not feel as powerful as they once were. For words to be powerful again, they must bring life. And right now, I do not see the life I wanted my words to bring about. My journal sits unfilled. I started writing about my life first because it was new and wonderful and the emotions and experiences begged to be chronicled and understood and valued, and then later because everything was so hard and I felt so lost and alone.
I find myself returning again and again to the words C.S. Lewis wrote. “I thought I could describe a state; make a map of sorrow. Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process. It needs not a map but a history, and if I don’t stop writing that history at some quite arbitrary point, there’s no reason why I should ever stop. There is something new to be chronicled every day. Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape. As I’ve already noted, not every bend does. Sometimes the surprise is the opposite one; you are presented with exactly the same sort of country you thought you had left behind miles ago. That is when you wonder whether the valley isn’t a circular trench. But it isn’t. There are partial recurrences, but the sequence doesn’t repeat.” If I wrote every day, there would be bright spots, but mainly sorrow. I cannot change that. But it feels pointless now to chronicle it, when I do not know when it will end. Perhaps I have done all the understanding that I can do. I am sure I will write about it again, when I am driven to, or when my thoughts produce something worth writing. I am a writer. I cannot help myself, when life reaches its heights and depths. I must record the words to keep from bursting.
For now, I will turn to the words of others. Books are my friends, I hide and find comfort in their worlds and people. They affirm me. They remind me of hope. And so, when words of a wiser writer reach my heart where it needed to be found or express what I feel better than I, I will share them here. For after all, understanding is also a function of writing. And I, like everyone else in the world, long to be understood.