Asher Witmer’s Review of Anything But Simple

October 17, 2017

Going about this Business of Being

October 17, 2017

Going Home

October 17, 2017
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I sit here at my desk. It is autumn. Soon I will leave my desk and go up to the bare-armed, thinly-leafed woods, to my little van hut, to write. I look at the leaves outside, quivering from the poplars, listen to the wind blowing them, and try to quiet my mind.

I wonder sometimes how there can possibly be so much noise in my head, so much noise in the world. I long for silence. For an absence of people. For no job. No worries. No dread of too much to do that sits on my head and makes it hard to smile and look forward to a day. No big weighty dreams and goals and responsibilities and things I care about.

Just. Me. And silence and a big cavernous maroon well of thought.

It would be terrible, of course. Lonely and empty and awful. Still, when there is so much noise in my head, I wish for it.

I once wrote, when I was young and wise, about my home. My true home, I wrote, I carry inside myself. That is where I write, where I think, where I pray.

Now that I am older and not so wise, I remember what I wrote. I wonder at it, now that every leaf on every tree, instead of quivering, pulsing, resonating with a Thing ephemeral and mysterious, only hangs from its respective twig stolid and too-bright, like the forced-cheerful print of a card painting.

I am always away from my true home, it seems. Always out and never in.

For a long moment, I look. And my soul stills and wonders and my phone does not ring.

Then Mom calls up the stairs, asks if I want dinner, and the world is noisy and busy again. A train calls from across the field. Desperate, maybe? Or just lonely? For certain, it is moving.   A train has no time to stop and think except through long cold nights in a railroad yard, breathless already with the thought of tomorrow, busy with graffiti painted big across its sides.

I wrote a book recently. I like the book.

But I am tired of talking about the book. I feel that is all I ever talk about, and I want only to be quiet for a while.

There are experiences I could tell you about, colorful chips of memory. The bear I heard growling in the woods when I went out to my cabin, the movement I saw. I ran for my car as fast as I could go.

The old man with stooped shoulders at a recent book festival who asked me to autograph my own business card and stepped away without asking what I wrote or why I was there. The book people at that same festival, with their pale intellectual faces, slightly stooped shoulders, colorful hair and jewelry in odd places, a certain gentleness and doubt that defined them. Book people. I am one of them, and I wonder if I look like that, if people can tell, just by looking, that I am a book person.

My friend who came to visit me, black and vibrant. Her skin–dark brown really–deep and warm like damp earth, represents to me the richness and aliveness of her nature. The graceful fingers like small plants reaching; the tall straight of her body; the laughter ringing out. The swear words which she says she should stop. I never swear myself, so it is perhaps a strange thing that some of my favorite people in the world do. I read a study once that said people who use swear words tend to be more honest in general, and maybe that is why I like them–not the swear words but the honesty.

But…I won’t tell you more about any of that, or any of the things going on in my life right now. Instead, I will tell you the thing that makes noise in my mind, the thing that makes me desperate for silence.

I want to write another book. Well, not another book actually, but the book I was writing before. Turtle Heart, I call it. The story of a lonely old Indian woman and a shy little Mennonite girl. I need to rework it, know it again, send it out. And I can’t find the quiet to do it.

Sitting here, formulating the words for this post, I have found quiet. I have been home. Now, in an effort to keep that quiet, I will close my door. At least, as much as it is practical to close a door when I have friends and responsibilities important to me. There are some things I want and need to do, but I will try to stay mostly in this quiet home of mine for a week, or maybe two, to work on Turtle Heart.

I will post again in November, but don’t expect to hear from me until then.

God bless!

Lucinda

21 comments

  1. I am tired of talking about the book. I feel that is all I ever talk about.

    Ah now reality is setting in. I get so tired of being asked, “What are you writing now?” as if I’m a cow expected to produce every year. Why don’t you ask me about my grandchildren or what I’m quilting or something like a normal woman?

    1. LOL. Well, I feel that I am the one at fault for always posting about book events, etc, and I think that people must get tired of it. I actually don’t mind talking about it if they ask, because it means that they are interested. I suppose that may change when I’ve written as many books as you. 🙂

  2. Sometimes people write things that echo so much of your heart, and you really don’t know how to express what it means to have someone put into words what you were thinking. But most of all, I loved the beautiful words you used in this post, like:

    “Her skin–dark brown really–deep and warm like damp earth, represents to me the richness and aliveness of her nature. The graceful fingers like small plants reaching; the tall straight of her body.”

    “every leaf on every tree, instead of quivering, pulsing, resonating with a Thing ephemeral and mysterious, only hangs from its respective twig stolid and too-bright, like the forced-cheerful print of a card painting.”

    A feast for a word lover’s heart.

  3. Lucinda, your words spoke absolute truth to me. May Jesus bless your socks off today and forever more! Blessings to you, Mollie

  4. This is beautiful. This speaks to my heart, and of my heart. Especially this:

    ‘Just. Me. And silence and a big cavernous maroon well of thought.

    It would be terrible, of course. Lonely and empty and awful. Still, when there is so much noise in my head, I wish for it.’

    Thank you.

  5. I love your writing, even when its just thoughts. I could imagine you would be tired of talking about the book. Repetitiveness drives me bonkers. I once worked in a store that sold fruit and veges. The owner wanted all staff to ‘up-sell’, which meant after the people had brought their purchases up to the counter, we then had to suggest other things they may want to buy that were on the counter, such as the French Stick’. Needless to say I hated it and the customers frowns. After one week of the same boring-ness I quit. Yet I can happily face the repetitive rhythms of laundry and cooking everyday – why? because I like it. I gave up selling my products at markets (after only one summer of doing it), because I hated having to keep talking about the same old thing, regards the benefits of handmade soap..online sales are so much better for an introvert. Enough of my rambling !!
    Lucinda – enjoy your quiet break in your van cabin 🙂 I look forward to all your stories !!! ~Linda

  6. I’m what my oldest daughter calls a T.O.M. (tired old mom):) It seems some days quietness is the thing I long for most and get the least. Today, crying into my laundry pile, God sent me a song. It reached the very depths of my heart, and I don’t ever remember even noticing it before. It was “Forth in Thy Name, O Lord.” Read it, if it won’t make you get off track. Blessings today!

  7. Beautiful, poignantly-written piece, Lucinda. This is a bit odd as I didn’t intend to find your blog (was looking for my friend Lucinda’s just now) and am so glad that I made my way here. You description and words move something in my soul–thank you for that! I look forward to reading more of your work here, and wish you lots and lots of success with your new book and future writing.

    1. Joy, I am so glad you found me. Thank you for your good wishes. I have been taking a blogging break but will be posting regularly again starting next week. I would enjoy hearing from you again!

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