Knock, knock. Anyone home?
I know, I know. It’s been a while. Ok, more than a while. Are we still friends? Will you still listen?
Man, my mind has been busy. I’ve written a thousand times, in the car, in the grocery store, pushing a kid on the swing. Sometimes just to say, this. This is beautiful. (Sometimes to say I am a mess, a mess, a mess). But how would you know, friend? Because it hasn’t been here, in this space.
The words in my head have not made it very far.
There’s writing, and then there’s writing. I have lost track, really, of why I started this blog to begin with, and I’ve become frozen by this idea that my words here need to be big, important, and polished. That I need to say SOMETHING. But really, really, what I was doing here when I first started writing this blog years ago was noticing. Paying attention. Writing it down. Trying to understand it. Telling you about it.
Instagram is hugely popular, maybe for this reason. I don’t know, I’m not on Instagram. But I get the sense from those who are that it helps them notice. Pay attention to the world. Notice the beauty. Notice the broken. Notice that the broken and the beautiful are often the same thing. By taking a picture, hashtagging it and sharing it across a social network, it becomes noteworthy, and holds a record. Maybe even begins to make sense of something. Now I’m sure that not everything Instagrammed is beautiful or particularly noteworthy, but that’s where it starts, right? With turning the lens to something, focusing in, framing it somehow to make meaning. Sharing it with the world.
Photos aren’t my thing. Words are.
This is exactly what this blog did in the beginning. It gave me a way focus my lens, a frame with which to see my beautiful, broken, tiny world. It was a way to record moments, small moments and big ones, so that I could go back and see. See the journey I was on, note it’s wanderings, connect the emotions with a greater arc, imbue them maybe even with a sense of meaning.
I started this blog five and a half years ago. I hardly recognize myself in those early posts. I had a three-and-a-half-year old, and an 18-month old. Only two kids. My life was small in the way teeny tiny children can make it, days divided by naps and baths and snacks. Simple, though never easy. I found meaning, in those small days, by opening my eyes to the smallness, letting it become bigness.
I could not have anticipated the busted-up hearts that would come. I could never have guessed the people that would walk into my heart, my life, my kitchen or count the ones that don’t hold the same place anymore. The things my lens focused on then are so very different from where my gaze rests now. There are moments here that are so small that had I not laid it out here, in this space, I don’t think I’d remember it. I would have lost that small beauty. These small beauties all add up to tell a story, one that I need to go back and read every once in a while.
All of this just reminds me, convicts me really, of why it is important to show up in this space. The sun rises, the sun sets, we put away our summer shorts and pull out our wool sweaters. And with every moment we are growing, stretching, learning – honoring and witnessing the beauty.
I have three kids (have for a while, now). 8, 6 (almost, almost 7) and 4. We are busy in ways I couldn’t have guessed five years ago. But it’s a different pace, an awkward pace at times. I have struggled more than I thought I would to find my stride in this awkward pace. I have more “free” time than I did when I started this blog, but more guilt about how to use that time. I am still just as frustrated by bedtime, and probably just as tired. The kids say less funny things, and ask harder questions. I still cry more than most people, and have yet to find the balance between saying not enough and too much.
I haven’t given up trying to polish up my words, rubbing down the rough edges to make them better, best. But that’s not what this space is for. This is where it all begins.
Aiming my lens, focusing in, seeing the small moments before they are gone.
Friend, I’m back, if you’ll have me.