Each vowel and consonant has its place on the map of my heart, marking fear and sadness, joy and passion, boredom and ennui. All the angst that life mixes in sometimes, just for the fun of it. The day to day moments that make up more of our lives than all the milestones combined.
It's all there, on paper, in words.
It's all there, in my heart, in whispers.
All this history, written down in notebooks and on tiny scraps of paper and neatly typed pages of poetry, locked away in a cupboard. Phrases and letters and logic and emotion.
The testimony of my life.
The act of writing out those thoughts and words and feelings has mattered as much, if not more, than the souvenirs left behind in that cupboard. A narration that acts as background music to a life that moves forward no matter what. You don't have to listen, always, to know it's there, but you miss it, when it's not.
It comforts you. Grounds you, like the roots of a tree.
Writing in a journal is like having a conversation with yourself. You talk out your problems, your worries, your inane fears. You laugh at your own jokes and smile in all the right places. You may even nod, occasionally, at something you just said.
Words may surface that you didn't even know were in your vocabulary. Feelings that you never knew you had. Solutions to problems you weren't even thinking about.
There have been times in my life when I stopped journaling, stopped writing, stopped listening to my heart and left it there, alone, talking to the walls. But I always found my way back to it, returned to record the words that inevitably bubbled to the surface.
I suppose we all have something like that, that one thing we always come back to, that thing that we can’t not do. Perhaps it's painting or sculpting or cooking or knitting. The place where we feel most at home. For me it has always been writing. I never thought of myself as a writer in any professional sense, but I’ve always known that I needed to write.
My home is a forest where each tree is a sentence, each branch a word, each leaf a letter.
I walk beneath these trees. I listen. I record.
Sometimes I find just the right sentence, sprouting up right before me.
Or, I trip over a phrase that has grown like a root across my path.
Other times, I can't see the forest through the trees.
But always, I live there.
So tell me, where do you feel most at home?