Being a writer, for me at least, is something like being a balloon.  Some days I’m full-to-bursting with words, stretched so thin with metaphors and hyperbole, dialogue and narration that I can hardly contain it all.  I can’t write or speak or type fast enough to get them all out.  It feels like I must be missing some, letting some of the really good words escape unrecorded because I’m just not quick enough.  Then, on other days, I’m flat.  Wrung out- no words, no coherent thoughts, no nothing.  Empty.  I know, on those days, that there has to be play left in me, some excitement, some purpose, but the words aren’t there.  It is in those moments when I start wondering what I’m doing here.  I start thinking about the job I left behind and the really good things I felt like I was doing as a teacher.  I start thinking about the family and friends thousands of miles away, the loneliness of being alone, and the insanity of my having packed up my whole world to come here and do… what?  Not write, if the words aren’t there.  Not work- I don’t have a job.  So, what?  I feel like I’m wasting time, wasting life, when I can’t do something that feels constructive.

Friday was a day like that.  Sunday, too.  On days like that, where I can’t for the life of me figure out what to write or do, it’s easy for despair to set in.  I doubt myself- can I really do this?  Do I have the willpower, the strength, the heart for this?  Am I even supposed to be writing, if I can’t find words to write?  Then the monkeys climb across my porch roof or tiny red humming birds chirp at me from the nearest hibiscus, or a bat chases a bug into my open window of an evening and I am reminded that there’s more for me to learn here than just what stories I have to tell.  I am reminded that my soul is growing, too.  Even on the wordless days.

‘Wait,’ says the voice of God inside me.  ‘Be patient.  Pay attention.  Let go.  The words will come.  You’ll fill up again and you won’t be able to stop the flow.  For now, purge the voice of doubt and trust Me.  Be still.  Listen.  Learn.’

It’s harder than it seems, but easier too.  I am a balloon, and the breath that fills me up with words is not my own.

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