Can I be honest with y’all? I know I can, because you’re my Invisible Internet Audience™, which means I can always talk to you.
It’s November. Yes. Which means it’s been.. a hot second since my last post. (For those of you playing at home, my most recent update was in May.) I didn’t write a single word over the summer.
Now, that doesn’t mean I didn’t think about writing. I definitely thought about it. There were times over the summer when all I wanted to do was scream from the top of my lungs about the things I was experiencing and feeling–things that I haven’t felt or experienced for a long while, and things I don’t really wish for anyone to feel or experience any time soon.
What I should have done was take out my personal diary and write those things down. Process those things fully but privately–in a way that still made me feel like I was telling someone but not, you know, telling someone (like my Invisible Internet Audience™).
But I didn’t do that either, honestly. I did, however, talk to some really cherished friends and family members (y’all know who you are, shout out to you), who put up with me despite my endless talking in circles (I kind of feel like I’m doing that right now?).
Instead of processing my feelings like a mature human being, I took a lot of bubble baths and watched more than my fair share of bad court television. I told you I was good at wallowing.
This is all to say that the past few months have been difficult, but ultimately good. Hard, but necessary. Refining, in a way.
The last few months have tested me; they have asked questions that I am not sure I can answer now (or maybe ever!). … which reminds me!
I first learned about Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet during my summer at Arkansas Governor’s School. Rilke’s advice is not just for artists; it rings true for anyone who’s a member of the great mass of humanity. I walked into my Area II class (thanks, Bryan Cwik [now Ph.D! man, tempus fugit] with this quote on the chalkboard:
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
I learned a lot of things from Bryan Cwik’s Area II class, but this is probably the thing that has changed my life the most. I picked up a copy of Rilke’s letters and devoured it. I return to his words again and again when I need inspiration, comfort, or guidance. Excerpts are posted on the door to my voice studio so my students can read them.
This seems to be one of those times when I needed to read Rilke’s words again.
I am, perhaps gradually, without noticing it, living along these distant days since my last post into the answers that the questions of this summer asked of me.
In short, it’s good to be back. I’m glad you’re still here, Invisible Internet Audience™.