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.