The Weakest Reed

He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle.

April 30, 2013
by Rachel Gustafson
8 Comments

 

This post is part of a bloghop in which I’m participating sponsored by Books Make a Difference, a bimonthly online magazine celebrating books, their creators and fans.

visit booksmakeadifference.com

A few years ago, I started what would become one of the loneliest seasons of my life. As a mom I found myself often physically alone, but probably more importantly feeling just somehow misplaced and unseen.  Even when in the company of others I sometimes still felt isolation twisting its chilly tendrils around me.  There they were standing right next to me; bodies containing hearts beating warm blood and brains flashing lively, bright synapse storms.  But there I was, wielding the heavy chisel of social convention, exhausted from my day yet trying to  engage in meaningless small talk before I could break through to more authentic interactions.

Words are life to me.  Accessing them I find inspiration to start fresh, encouragement to keep going, conflict to sharpen and shape.  But I was finding my days were often filled with dead air and I craved life to be breathed into that stale environs.  Yet when my tasks were completed and my obligations were fulfilled, I often was simply too tired to make the effort with real, live people.  Often, I found it was just easier to switch on the computer to short circuit to the vital pulse of conversations going on in my favorite blogs to immediately access the already established rhythm of thoughts and feelings found in its pages.  Social media allowed me to jump right into a conversation, one already started on that blog, on Facebook or Twitter, savoring the fruits of a feast of human interaction without having to engage in the laborious, sometimes dreary work of plowing the fields with small talk and then gingerly navigating the delicate plants of decorum.

For this reason and others,  blogs and social media soon became an important place of engagement in my life.  These voices speaking to me across space and time, meeting me in my isolation like a friend with a cup of coffee, whispering words to engage my mind, touch my heart or lift my spirits.  Or on occasion, through my imagination, breaking me out of the confines of those seemingly hermetically sealed four walls into a more vital place; one filled with personalities and ideas to inspire.

Perhaps biggest of all, writing and sharing my thoughts across the blogosphere, meeting head-to-head and heart-to-heart in a virtual space, made me realize that I am a writer.  It is at the core of who I am, how I express myself best and perhaps the best way to truly know me.  I started writing poetry when I first could put pencil to paper and write words.  I recently dug up a poem I wrote when I was 6 and at 7 I wrote a poem that was published in an anthology of children’s poetry.  For several years I did a lot of writing.  And then something happened that absolutely shattered me and I spent the good part of my teenage years feeling like I was just struggling to survive, let alone thrive. Somehow creative writing felt like  a luxury I shouldn’t afford myself.  But blogging has made me realize I got it all wrong.  Writing, being in that place I feel the most myself, is something I need to do to keep moving forward in my life.

P.S. I just finished this post and then saw this quote, “The creative adult is the child who has survived.” Ursula Leguin  

I think it is perhaps Providential to just have stumbled across that, don’t you?  ;)

Where and when do you feel most known? Most understood? Most like the person you were created to be?

April 30, 2013
by Rachel Gustafson
0 comments

My story of being a stony-hearted, brutish beast…

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by Rachel Gustafson
2 Comments

When you wonder if you’ve buried the best of you…

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by Rachel Gustafson
4 Comments

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by Rachel Gustafson
0 comments

The View from the Pit

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by Rachel Gustafson
4 Comments

Does What I Do Matter?

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