Finding Home

 

Attention: Journal Writing Prompts will begin on Monday, October 25.  

Today I’m not responding to a prompt. Today it’s just me, the words, and an empty page. Guess I’m going back to basics. At least it could be seen that way. I’m not really sure of what I’m going to write about. Just know I want to write. Take a moment, breathe, relax and reflect. I do that best on paper. It’s a lot like going home.

But, that would seem to say that I’ve been away, somewhere else, doing other things. And in a very real sense, I have been, even though I have written every day. Sometimes poetry, but not much prose of late. And I have been coloring again.

I sort of stopped doing that for several months, just before my Mom passed away and even more afterward. The colors got muddy for a while, reflecting my own inner attempt to adjust to a landscape that now held a rather large hole near its center. And in true human, life fashion, I was looking for something to fill that hole. That’s when I stumbled onto the prompts.

They were, for me, quite perfect. They were new but familiar because they were writing, simply following the words, there in the prompt itself. They gave me a direction, kept me busy doing something I love to do, but were a constant challenge to continue. Of course, they didn’t fill up that hole. Nothing really could, but they kept me moving, gave me a focus for my energies.

Then, about a month and a half ago, life stepped in (it has this strange tendency to do that), and called a brief halt to all this activity. Slammed me with a bit of reality that had to be attended to. A bit of a problem with my heart and a flood of memories and flashbacks. And the prompts helped with that as well, but fear has a tendency to slow ones steps, and it did that, too.

At least enough for me to catch my breath and take a better look at what I have been doing. That in turn, led me to questions. A lot of those questions found their way into my journal, with some rigorous attempts to find answers. Journals are very good at creating a time for reflection, but also for creating a different definition of that word. A reflection can be a mirror image of self, and that was what I found. As well as a lot more questions, lol.

Not at all surprising, seeing as I am a person who has always asked a great deal of them. Curiosity can be, and is, a way a life for many. It has always been so for me (often to the frustration of those around me). And so it began: What is it I’m looking for in all of these words, all of the writing, the prompts, doing the responses, making comments about the responses of my fellow prompt circuit followers? Where is this taking me? Do I really want to go wherever that is leading?

Then came the big question: Is all of this satisfying my soul? And, as usual, the answer was both Yes and No. Yes, because it was reestablishing my primary love of words, whether that be with poetry or prose. No, because it was making me aware that there were other things I wanted to do, larger projects that couldn’t be accomplished if I continued to respond to the ongoing round of the prompts. But, more importantly, it was forcing me to find home. That place with a huge hole in it.

In looking for ways to respond to some of the prompts, I had gone in search of old files of writing. Files set aside long ago, but now uncovered because I was looking for new ideas. New places to explore, new paths for the words and where they might take me.

What I found were two major paths I could follow. One was an old attempt to write a fiction story, the other was a partial journal my Mother kept for a short time. One is definitely prose, the other is definitely poetry. But both are major undertakings and would consume a great deal of energy and time. Both are inviting paths for curiosity and exploration.

One would be a new avenue to explore, the other would involve lots of memory and looking at the past. But, and this is an important realization, they would definitely inform one another because of their specific topics. And then there are the prompts. Can I possibly juggle all of this and actually remain somewhat sane?

Good thing I don’t have to make a decision right now, today. I do have some ideas, but all of it has to wait on the results of a major invasive medical procedure I have to face next Tuesday. Have to admit, I want to do all of it. Not the procedure, but that is a necessity. The writing is home. It’s that place that means all those things that the word home entails. And more.

It is that space that is mine alone. That one where life happens, unfolds but holds my story, my soul, my satisfaction. As well as that hole I previously mentioned. The one that I must explore in order to continue breathing.

It is the prompts that have brought me here, to this place I need to be. Given me the words to follow, like bread crumbs that have brought me home. And that thought unleashes so many others. Sets them free to find their own way to be, and to become, home.

Author Note: This started out as a free write. It was a definite step away from the prompts. Yet, in the end brought me right back to the prompt for today at Writers Island. The prompt is the word Unleash. Think I’m being given a message? The prompt and all the wonderful thought provoking responses can be found here:   http://writersisland.wordpress.com/

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About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here: https://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ http://claudetteellinger.wordpress.com/
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37 Responses to Finding Home

  1. Mary says:

    Elizabeth, I am glad that the prompts brought you ‘here’ to connect with me and so many of us. You are a dynamite writer, and whichever direction your writing goes will be the right direction for you as you find your home. Perhaps your home could have different rooms, but then I know it is hard to determine how much time to spend in each room. I will be ‘watching’ as you work things through. And most of all, right now, I wish you well on your procedure next Tuesday. Health trumps all! My best to you.

    Like

  2. 1sojournal says:

    Hello, my friend. I think I have discovered that my ‘home’ has more rooms than I have allowed myself to know,lol. And to think that only a few weeks ago I was writing about opening new windows! Apparently a lot more blew in than I was expecting. But, again, I’m thinking that’s sort of normal for me.

    Am also thinking that the prompts might turn out to be the kitchen of this new home I will be creating. The fiction would definitely be the playroom, and my Mother’s journal would have to be my workspace area. Now, all I need is one of those wonderful Power Chairs in which to move from room to room! Or maybe just a new computer chair, wish they made them as comfortable as a lounging recliner, but then I’d never get anything done.

    Thanks for your ongoing support and encouragement and your well wishes. I’m trying to avoid thinking a great deal about Tuesday. It isn’t working, but I’m still trying. Hugs to you,

    Elizabeth

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  3. Susannah says:

    Whatever path we take, whichever choice we make, it always ultimately takes us to exactly where we need to be.

    I love the mandala you coloured and could not keep my eyes off of the bright yellow ‘sun’ at the top, I feel like it is shining.

    I wish you well for Tuesday. x

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    • 1sojournal says:

      Thank you for the well wishes, and you are absolutely correct that our choices take us to the places we need to be and to learn from. I liked this Madala too, it speaks to me of dreams and wishes, whispered in the dusk.

      Elizabeth

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  4. anthonynorth says:

    That’s the thing about prompts – they prompt you … one way or the other.

    Like

    • 1sojournal says:

      I agree Anthony, but also realize that it’s time for me to go beyond and follow the other prompts I’ve been hearing. I won’t leave the prompts entirely, they’ve been far to instrumental in getting me here to this place I need to be. I may just back off a bit and not do so many of them.

      Elizabeth

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  5. Warm wishes to you from a stranger, who knows a thing or two about large medical procedures. You are a lovely writer and I am sure whatever you write will be wonderfully fulfilling.

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    • I agree that my Haiku is far too brief. I love this picture a lot but I need more time to really write what I need to. I think there will be a second submission sometime this week. Thanks for visiting my blog and your kind words.

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      • 1sojournal says:

        Kristen, you beat me back here, lol. And we aren’t really strangers. We both love words, language and the act of writing and that gives us a fairly large field of commonality.

        And you bring up one of the things that happens with the prompts. The urge is to get something down and posted. And yes, there is usually more, but it often gets set aside for the next prompt, and the one after that. I often go back and read my own responses to the prompts weeks after posting and am often startled by what I wrote and didn’t realize at the time. Do you find the same thing, or something similar? The prompts and the digging in those old files actually revealed the things I spoke of in this post. But both things needed to be present for that to actually take on a form and shape I could grasp and move into.

        Thanks for the kind words and the well wishes, they are very important to me at this time,

        Elizabeth

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  6. Irene says:

    Elizabeth, three wishes.
    A successful surgery. That you continue on some scale to be a part of the writing community. That your writing projects take off beautifully!

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  7. 1sojournal says:

    Irene, no surgery hopefully, but an invasive procedure that could lead in that direction. I have no intention or disappearing from the community, but more a bit less contact, making way for those other projects. The prompts have been such an integral part of my process, I wouldn’t let go of them completely. I’ve met far too many individuals, yourself a good example, that have inspired me to do things that I’ve never even considered in the past.

    Thanks Irene, your wishes are appreciated and mean a great deal. When did you decide to ditch the hat?

    Elizabeth

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    • Irene says:

      It’s a privilege knowing you Elizabeth. We’ve only just begun perhaps. I might want to scale back on the writing to prompts without completely letting go. Just to focus more on the craft maybe. About the hat. It reminded too much of work where I have to go out in the hot sun. I had the didn’t-want-to-go-anywhere-near-work feeling maybe last week.

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      • 1sojournal says:

        I can certainly relate to the I don’t want to go anywhere near work thingie. I prombably said it at least once every morning when I was doin it, and I actually liked a great deal about the job. I think it was more “the have to go,” then the job itself. Funny part of that is I think I actually work harder at this writing stuff than I’ve ever done at a job. Maybe because it is simply my choice. It figures.

        I do hope you are correct about beginnings, that sounds good to me as well,

        Elizabeth

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  8. ana says:

    There’s nothing quite like the therapeutic power of writing! May you find more answers than questions on your journey.

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  9. Looks very much like a plate I bought in Mexico. I wish you well with your surgical procedure on Tuesday. Lord, bless Elizabeth.

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  10. Oh, yes you are growing. I think it is perhaps the grief, and you were working with it in the way you knew how. And perhaps it is time, for you to take “charge” again, it does take energy, and that is perhaps why it was easier to just respond. But I think you have truly gotten a lot out of it. So we learn it probably doesn’t matter, just so we “do.” We will always be doing what we need to do. I will hold my breath until you are finished on Tuesday. You will be find, I know this.

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    • 1sojournal says:

      Somewhere inside I know that as well. And the responses have been very instrumental in getting me to the place I am now in. I won’t give them up entirely, but I do intend to decrease my participation. Thanks for reading, Annell.

      Elizabeth

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  11. Before I found blogging, I worked so hard, and rarely took a break, I probably spend too much time on the computer. But it has encouraged my writing, I find I am spending less and less time. I am starting a new body of work, and look forward to sharing it with you, as soon as I have accomplished some. I think we must work alone to achieve what we want. xoxoxoxox

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    • 1sojournal says:

      I hear what you are saying and even agree to some extent, but I find a necessary balance to be found in taking the time to work alone, interspersed with contact with others who might be doing the same, but still need the break from ones own thoughts that community supplies. I’m fairly certain that bits and pieces of that alone work will find a place here on my blogs. And the prompts will continue to bring a harvest of new ideas and means of accomplishing the other.

      Elizabeth

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  12. systematicweasel says:

    The prompts take us to all sorts of places. I hope you’re feeling better soon. =)

    -Weasel

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  13. Reflections says:

    Funny how I am finding others, like you, who have filled a void with the prompts, and for me, the blog in general, and yet, the need to continue is also there…

    Hope your procedure goes well and that you find your way with whatever choice you make.

    Like

    • 1sojournal says:

      Hello and welcome. I still plan on doing some prompts, just not as many as I have been. And I think that prompts are a good incentive toward a regular creative writing regimen. Thay have certainly acted that way for me, and others I have been talking to.

      Thank you for the well-wishes and I will eventually find my way, one way or another, lol.

      Elizabeth

      Like

  14. shanegenziuk says:

    Live long. Live well.

    Like

  15. Brian says:

    Writing is always good… usually… except when it is frustrating. Which is say, always. Still, blogging comes and goes, but the friends you make can last forever. I don’t think anyone has really grasped the impact of the internet on society. There is so much to read and experience, online life becomes more real than reality.

    Like

    • 1sojournal says:

      And that’s a mouthful Brian. Pretty much where I have found myself recently. I love the writing, but also want it to go further than the quick one day perusal of the prompts and then on to the next one. I want to sink my teeth (at least the ones I still own) into something more and work at it for a while. Maybe a book? I really don’t know yet and am hoping the next few days will give me some down time to make those choices.

      Thanks for your thoughts and your words, they are always filled with deeper meaning,

      Elizabeth

      Like

  16. rashmi says:

    Hi Elizabeth,
    Thank God you decided to respond to prompts ,only becos of that I came to know you,a writer who write with all her heart,with full of love and sincereity.Now if you write for prompt or not,it doesn’t matter.We all are here who prays for you,who knows you and loves you very much.Get well soon and be back writing something daily dear.WE all love to read you.

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  17. 1sojournal says:

    Rashmi, your generousity is making me blush, lol. I’m glad to know that you like what you find here, and I do enjoy writing far too much to quit. Just now, though, I am struggling with where I want to put my energies. I won’t completely quit the prompts, but am thinking I will probably simply back off a bit for now. You do an old lady’s heart good. Thank you,

    Elizabeth

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  18. Wonderful post, as always. I follow you…..

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  19. Jingle says:

    good luck in your writing…

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  20. ladynimue says:

    I do not write journals in conventional sense .. I can not .. they be too honest to be read even by me any day. I inturn try to take a prompt and color it in the infuences from real life – mine or some one i know or maybe just a story i heard some where..

    Wish you luck for your adventure with words 🙂 I found peace reading this. i knowing that i am not alone who think of my perspective of doing prompts !

    Like

  21. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you again, Lady Nimue. The way I see journal writing would not make them conventional at all. Actually that would be impossible. Each of us is an individual story and that means that each journal would stand apart and tell that individual journey. And strangely enough, one of the most important aspects of all of that is the honesty I find in my own journal pages. I just can’t fake it there, it is the one place I must be honest and I’m glad of that. We each need to have an honest dialogue with ourselves or hazard wrong or inefficent choices. I’m glad you found something worth your while in these words. That is always good to hear,

    Elizabeth

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