It is Sunday, and it is stormy. I find myself just-sitting as Andy makes savory smells in a simmering pot of sauce. Luna curls at my feet. The sky is loud.

I’m thinking about a quiet existence.

It’s been a constant refrain in my mind this year: rest; healing; unhurried; recovery; gentleness; acceptance; value; space. These ideas create an insistent symphony. Unfortunately, I do not hear the beauty of the melody because it is drowned out by the shoulds that are impossible because there are not enough hours and my ankle is still injured and my mind is mushy from the recent surgery. 

Lightening flashes and thunder cracks as I pour steaming water over a tea bag. Honey melts in my mug. Instinctually, I know it is time to write. 

I am hesitant. I used to stack beautiful words. The steam curls around my hands; I watch the rain pelt the deep summer grass, and I hear the symphony lulling me to believe in the importance of a quiet existence. I am beginning to hear the beauty of this overture.

An overture is the beginning, it comes before something more substantial. At least, that’s what the dictionary says. 

I imagine what I might write, but the chaos entangles the sounds, and it is hard to hear; I’m lost for what to write. I don’t know what to write; I don’t know how to write anything substantial. 

Did I care about substance before? 

I close my eyes and the sweet liquid coats my mouth, and I remember when I wrote because it was as necessary as oxygen to my existence. I wrote to remember the moments. I collected words because the stories were precious. Life blurred, and I was afraid I would forget the sweetness of the moments. I wrote because it is fun to make words dance.

Now the quest for a quiet existence will not leave me alone. I struggle to discover the space between quiet and productive, where both can live and neither are strangled. I wonder if it is ridiculously impossible to live a quiet life and a productive life. Perhaps the chaos has swiped my quiet strength.

This is a lie. I know it, and I fight it.

In the fight for my quiet strength, I have stepped out of the rat race. It has been an intentional act to become less. I do not want to be in the raging circuit of book writers and speakers who jet from one side of the country to another and fill Zoom rooms for presentations. I don’t want to be constantly pushing registrations or memberships or looking to set the world on trend with a viral post.

I want to listen to thunderstorms and sip tea with honey. I want to make things with yarn and words and photos and videos. I want to encourage and love in small, private ways. 

I want less of a show and more connections. I do not want to linger in what’s wrong and what disgruntles and what needs fixed. It is exhausting, even if it is a 3-step formula to be a successful online business: 1. state the problem; 2. show how life is hard; 3. offer a solution. Voila! Sales galore!

It sounds like noise to me. It makes my head hurt, and my heart withers.

I have become hesitant in stacking words. Yet, when I sit before a blank page, my soul is quieted. I can hear the sounds of the orchestra playing the notes of my life, beckoning me to be brave and courageous. It is okay to step out of the rat race. It is okay to find my own lane, to run my own race.

It is a complicated and simple melody that soothes my delicate heart. The noisy world quiets, and the overture begins  a crescendo. I can hear my own thoughts. 

I wonder if this what it means to find yourself. (I didn’t realize I was lost.) 


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  1. Thanks for stacking words for us. I am struggling these days with writing because what I really want to write about is hard. Your words help me to see that writing can be a part of the healing, helping me with the hard.

  2. This is beautiful. Your words resonate with me. I aspire to start journaling at almost 60 years old. I just started reading Anna Quindlen’s Write for Your Life this morning.

  3. Such big and quiet truth. I am not writing much these days. I miss it and I might go back to journaling, but not writing in public, I don’t think.