The wonder-filled life of a single older-ish mom.

Archive for the tag “voice”

Back in the Sandbox

With summer officially over, I face the fact that—just like last summer—I gave my writing the silent treatment. I posted no blogs, which is doom and gloom because the publishing industry experts all say that if you want get your book published you’ve got to have a lot of followers and you don’t get followers if you don’t put stuff out there for people to find. And follow.

So I default to flogging myself with brutal mental beatings, chastising my lack of commitment and creativity. Then, sufficiently battered, I switch to allowing excuses to whine their way in—”but I’ve had a lot of clients,” blahdee blahbitty blah.

But if I’m honest with myself, I’ll fess up that I’ve felt stuck, voiceless, and when I’ve tried to write the words feel stiff. I start thinking about the followers, and can’t imagine I have anything of value to add to the din of voices out there vying for cyber attention. So I hide and don’t write, and I forget that this doesn’t need to be such serious business. I forget that my intention when I began Rawe-Struck was to be raw, and full of wonder, and that if even just one person felt a “me too!” connection with what I put out there, that would be enough.

I forget how playing with words lights me up. And I stop playing when I become self-concious about who’s watching.

I think about what I would tell Nina if she strayed from a practice she loved doing. The answer comes simply and clearly, “Just begin again.” I would advise her not to waste anymore time paralyzing herself with self-woven restraints of guilt or worry about what other people think. I would tell her to jump in and rediscover the joy of why she wanted to do that thing in the first place. Just begin again.

I would tell her that sometimes we lose sight of our path, and spend day after day poking about in the weeds. And a lot of fast-talking should-experts live in those weeds. We scurry around in circles with them for awhile, and figure we’ll get back on path someday.

I might tell her about this time right now, when I forgot about why I loved writing, and that my “someday” became a season. And that I realized that was ok. I’ll tell her I had the courage to return and this time—because I thought of how I would talk to myself if I were talking to her—I said, “Welcome back!” instead of “It’s about time, loser.”

I’ll tell her I even said to myself, “You’re right on time, sweet-cheeks. Now get back in that sandbox of words and play!”


New Life

Although I am not yet born,
still tumbling in the ocean
within you,
you saw me today
for the first time
through ultrasound.
You learned I am a girl
and you will name me Nina —
meaning strong and mighty.

I felt you shake as you cried
and the doctor asked
if you were disappointed by
my gender.
You were not.
But you shook with the gravity
of bringing a female into this world that
has chiseled you into a nice girl,
into this marriage that will
erode your voice
as you fail
to be the perfect wife,
the perfect anything.

But I will stir
the knowing
already within you.

For me,
you will one day
from the drowning to
gasp and sputter for air.

As I will do when I emerge from you,
you will take your
first breath,
crying out for new life.
And for me you will
re-learn your language,
as you teach me
my own first words.

You will croak guttural truth
after truth until the song of you
once again flows,
and you will sing to me
the lullaby of how to be
a strong woman,
how to swim free from
the undertow,
how to harness the tides of
fear and faith,
how to be the
moon of myself.

And once again
you will be pregnant
with possibility.

— amy rawe

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