Today I'm part of Bella Grace's Blog Hop that's all about emphasizing their mission of finding the magic in the everyday. To kick off their latest publication Field Guide to Everyday Magic, I'm hosting a giveaway at the end of this post. To enter, leave a comment here about quiet and its extraordinary power or share on social media and tag me @kayladeanwrites. Winner will be notified on September 15.

But first, I'm sharing the quiet moments that let me rediscover my voice this summer.

Bug nests wrapped around tree branches. Groundhogs sleeping in their dens. The rare blue heron perched on a stump in the kudzu, rare enough that mist could surround the very same bird with less dramatic effect. This… doesn’t sound like the article you came here to read, does it?

 

 

When I first started blogging, I didn’t know what I wanted to write about. Most of my early attempts were about the craft of writing. Why? Because that felt comfortable to me.

But then the noise pressed in. And let’s not forget the crushing doubt.

The more online articles I read, the more I felt that something about my work wasn’t saying what I wanted it to. Plenty of people will tell you to keep writing through it. And you should. But sometimes you have to do the kind of work that feels private enough that it allows your thoughts to breathe. Until you’re ready to re-enter the web with an understanding of what you want to say.

This summer, I went to my grandparents house. I don’t often get to see them when they live so far away, but I know that the tranquility I found there helped me strengthen that part of myself.

The woods have an element of inscrutability every time I walk by houses that are part of the town’s historic walking tour. Each of them have a green number on a round little ivory placard that tells you nothing about the age of the house. Your only clues are the chipping paint and the distinct vellum of age that surrounds them in an envelope that you know to be rather yellowed.

Most are well-maintained with white picket fences and whimsical paint colors. The oldest home on this side of the railroad tracks, painted yellow on an ironically named street, falls into disrepair.

This kind of setting isn’t what I experience in my daily life. Back in the desert I miss humidity and trees and life. Although I’ve never really lived that, some part of me knows that’s where I belong. And when your voice feels small any sort of experience outside of your reality often leads to insight.

At the edge of the neighborhood is a path that winds down to the lake. If you’re quiet enough just before the rain, you’ll catch a deer on that muddy path. She’ll pretend not to notice you if you don’t breathe too fast. This deer won’t feel like a real animal, but an apparition of flesh whose beady eyes know something yours don’t.

Her eyes will only look at yours if you step on a twig. Like I said, she already sees you. And time will always be the same if you just let it pass simply.

It’s like that Alduous Huxley quote: nothing changes and yet everything is completely different. In the presence of something you don’t understand yourself, it’s not only possible but likely that you can regain the elements of your craft that feel swallowed up by other voices.

Read: it’s okay to take the time you need to work on yourself if it leads to more profound moments in your work. And this could be the start. So whether you get out of your daily life by going somewhere you know and love or simply take a moment for yourself, remember that finding your voice in the quiet may be the best way to get back on track.

 

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8 Comments

  1. Reply

    Ahna

    September 6, 2017

    As a child my mother would read to my sister and I every night. One of our very favorite books was called, “Listen to the Quiet.” Reading your blog post brought the memory of that book to the surface. I remember the illustrations and descriptions of the freshly fallen snow, the forest after it rains. Many different scenarios that envoked peace.
    I, being the introvert that I am, greatly appreciate silence. The moment the kids and husband leave in the mornings, when the door shuts I hear that old familiar silence and I feel a inner sigh. Everyone and everything are right where they need to be and I can relax and focus on the day ahead. Silence is powerful and can be shared with those you truly trust. I find myself trying to fill silent gaps with friends I’m not fully comfortable with, so I completely appreciate and value the relationships that are able to embrace the silent moments. When you relax and listen to the quiet, it is incredible what you hear. What you feel.
    I not only am thankful for silence, I crave it. Life can be altogether too hectic and chaotic at times. The art of stilling yourself and telling your world to hush is powerful. It results in realignment, refocus, perspective and peace. That, to me, is a powerful thing.

  2. Reply

    Denise Keating

    September 11, 2017

    Sitting in the sun in my backyard, facing trees on both sides, the world falls away. It’s easy to be in the moment. Watching my dog roll in something smelly, his whole body wriggling with joy.

  3. Reply

    Veronica Szostalo

    September 11, 2017

    When it’s quiet in the house, or wherever I happen to be, and I can relax and fade into a good book, absorbed by the world it holds within, that is when I am at my most peaceful. It’s blissful to get lost in adventures, in another person’s life, in worlds of possibilities. It rejuvenates me and motivates me to create my own stories.

  4. Reply

    M.E. Bond

    September 11, 2017

    With three kids under five afternoon naps/quiet time is so refreshing for me!

  5. Reply

    Rachel Zembrowski

    September 11, 2017

    My favorite thing about the quiet is that it becomes so much easier to hear what’s going on in my own head. I love staying up ridiculously late because the world gets quieter and I can make sense of my own noise. Sitting on my porch at 3:30 AM and the only sound I hear is the breeze in the leaves of the trees, things become clear. I frequently search out my own moments of quiet and that’s just one example.

  6. Reply

    S.D. Woodall

    September 11, 2017

    Quiet and I have always been strangers. The loudest child of my parents’ four, a singer, a thespian, a laugher — Quiet almost never came to visit, and if it did, I struggled to escape it. Now, all I want is to seek it and embrace it. There will be discomfiting moments and moments where we ache to fill the void. I will have to reassure Quiet that it is welcome and that, as my guest, it may put its feet up and have a glass of lemonade on the porch as I fire up pen and paper and leap into adventures I know not of!

  7. Reply

    Victoria Fry

    September 12, 2017

    A flickering flame has always brought a mesmerizing sense of peace, quiet, and calm over me. Sadly, in my current flat, there is no fireplace and the fire alarms are too finicky even to burn a candle or two, so it’s been a while since I had the pleasure. I decided to bridge this gap recently and turn on a virtual fire at night, a YouTube video on loop, maxed out so it fills my entire screen, and it flickers merrily away while I read, cozy under the blankets. It may not always be possible, but it’s been a beautiful reminder that I can create that sense of quiet and calm more easily than I thought. 🙂

  8. Reply

    Lindsay Crandall

    September 13, 2017

    Quiet has been so elusive for me as a mother. But my little one just started kindergarten and my days are changing, becoming my own again, and I’m loving the change of pace and, of course, the quiet. This is so good, Kayla. Thank you for sharing!!

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