Finding the Words - Filling the Void

Journals and Pen.jpg

Life is defined as the presence of energy in its many intricate and brilliantly complex forms. I am just a traveler here, carving out and exploring the many beautiful ways in which to live my life to its fullest.

Words comfort me.

I was raised in a home with books. My paternal grandmother, who was an integral part of my first 25 years, served as a librarian for more than three decades. I worked in the library system at the university I attended, then six years later was blessed with the opportunity to create my own sanctuary dedicated to the written word in my very own small bookshop in our town. Between the two homes my partner and I now share, we have quite an extensive personal library. Add to that, the primary focus of my work over the past five and one-half years has been to edit and share words.

To say the least, words matter. They carry life and inspiration and possibility.

But… What happens when I cannot find my own words, form my own thoughts, and put them on paper? When I was younger, I would feel the panic. It would become disorienting. I could point the finger and blame it on any number of external instances from having my voice silenced during various and integral parts of my life, but instead I choose not to focus on those moments now. I want to move forward. I choose life and inspiration and possibility.

Nowadays I am appreciating the void, the silence, and the ability to sit in what used to be so very uncomfortable.

I am alone today in the house. To be alone nowadays is an odd yet deeply comforting experience at this stage of my life. I love being alone and appreciate the ability to be silent for long periods of time. I first built a fire, then picked up one of Parker Palmer’s books – A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life. I’ve only just begun yet find a deep resonance with what he shares. I’m looking forward to diving in more.

Coincidentally, I caught a post Parker shared on Facebook yesterday of a poem of his that also calls to me. These words keep tugging at my edges today. With my stack of trusty journals next to me, some filled with blank pages, I can absolutely relate…

Old Journals

I’ve been reading old journals
from a time of great anguish,
amazed that I found the words
for such nonstop despair – and
survived the darkness to read
what I wrote all those years ago.

The journals end abruptly
in yet another sinkhole, followed
by fifty blank pages that feel,
as I turn them, like falling into
a bottomless pit. Then, suddenly,
one last entry, no preamble, no P.S. –
“The void is filled with love.”

Now, some forty years later,
I sit by the fire, watching the snow
fall silently in large, slow-swirling flakes,
filling the air, blessing the fields,
dressing the woods with the beauty
that comes when love fills the void.

~ Parker J. Palmer

For those times when I cannot find my own words, form my own thoughts, and put them on paper… There is a void, and I sure am finding it is filled with love.

Today, I sit here by the fire with my book and journals, watching the snow bless the fields and woods around our cozy home, bone broth on the stove is simmering, one dog is on his bed napping and the other has her head on my lap… I choose to breathe in the life, the inspiration, and the possibility “that comes when love fills the void.”

Until next time I offer these words of wisdom for better or for worse. Please take them with a grain of salt for we each live our own individual truths. Our mission while we are here is to understand, accept, and celebrate that one very simple, but incredibly significant fact. For all this, I am grateful.