It feels good to be writing again! I have not posted in 28 days. I just counted, and the number actually surprised me! I started blogging at the end of November, and since then, I have always posted at least once a week, and often more. Most months, 2 or 3 posts a week was the norm.
Back in November, as I was just starting this blog, I created the image below for my landing page (with the help of my 11 year old son). It was a fun little project, completed on a big piece of paper early one afternoon, but I wound up not using it. So today, as I ‘begin again’, I thought would be a good time to share it.
The other thing that has surprised me is how hard it is to start writing again. When I was writing all of the time, sitting down to prepare another blog post came quite easily. Having broken the momentum, though, it’s kind of awkward to begin again. You know when you hear your own voice on a recording and think, “I sound like that?” Writing for the first time in a while gives me a similar sensation.
So all this has got me thinking a bit about why I haven’t posted, and how staying at home, and leaving on a trip both play a part in the creative process.
We can do simple things at home to create the environment we need. We can surround ourselves with books and quotes, images that inspire, and keepsakes that we love. We can change the colours in our office, or get a brighter lightbulb for the desk.
In the famous words of Franz Kafka, “It isn’t necessary that you leave home. Sit at your desk and listen. Don’t even listen, just wait. Don’t wait, be still and alone. The whole world will offer itself to you.”
There is a value in knowing how to stay, especially in today’s world, which is constantly in motion. Staying teaches us how to change our perspective so that familiarity does not become stale; to see the old through new eyes. This requires and cultivates a certain creativity and ability to appreciate everyday moments.
Still, it is invigorating to change our environment entirely every now and then, and go somewhere different. Distance is the quickest prescription to refreshing and reviving our spirits, helping us see things in a new way.
The last 28 days for me have included some travel. Nothing too exotic – we drove west through a couple of provinces to see the mountains (that’s where I took the first picture of the sign) and visit family. I haven’t been to the mountains for years, though, so I was excited about it, and I always love to see our families. The 28 days also included a short period of intense work, as well as hosting out of town guests in our home. Each of those 28 days was rich and meaningful. There were amusing moments, light with humour and laughter. Other moments stirred thoughts about life, the passage of time, and even the meaning of bizarre coincidences (more on that soon).
It is only now that I am home again that I am ready to reflect on these experiences through writing. In many ways, home is where I make meaning of the adventures that happen outside its doors.
Home is the firm base from where we can launch into our adventures, and home is often where the story is ready to be told after our return. And whatever home might mean, and whether the story is a sad or joyful one – in so many ways, the story really does begin at home.