Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Watch this space

In theory I have a million things to say about the liminal moment in which I find myself: 40th birthday just past, a variety of 10-year anniversaries on the horizon, and a big professional move in the works. I'm busy enough and happy enough, and I've even had the time to write. It's just that my brain feels like it's gone silent.

Ordinarily, I move through life talking to myself. In the shower, I'll go into a spiel about a text I'm teaching. On my drive to work, I'll start composing a blog post. Sitting in my office, I'll hold an imaginary conversation with a friend. At the gym, I'll summarize, under my breath, an article I just read, as if talking to a colleague or a hiring committee. It's not about anxiety. My brain is busy, always, with hypothetical Facebook and Twitter posts, emails to friends, arguments with people I no longer speak to, tricky bits of scholarly prose, descriptions of what I did last weekend. In a very real way, I don't experience my life except through language.

But lately that chatter isn't there. I'm still writing to-do lists and lesson plans, taking notes toward my next book, and cursing aloud when someone cuts me off in the parking lot. But there's not the usual verbal processing of whatever I'm thinking and feeling. I'm not bored or impatient, but it's very. . . quiet. I have the sense that I'm waiting for something: a reply from the oracle, a transmission from outer space; something.

Until then, though, it may be as quiet around here as it is in my head.


Historiann said...

I'm with you. Is it inner peace, or emptiness? Hard to say, but if it feels good, do it.

Flavia said...


Yeah, it's a strange thing! I've recently been trying to shush the disruptive outside voices--I find I just don't have the energy to read another outraged editorial, article, or blog post these days, and among my Lentan practices are spending radically less time on Facebook and trying to meditate several times a week--but I figured that would give my thoughts more space. So far it's not happening, though.

Or maybe I'm just processing on a deeper level. Dunno.

Susan said...

Maybe one of the things about a liminal moment is that you have to be in it, not writing about it?