july heart (summer in the hills, 1.3)

A few days ago I sat down to write a post, just an little update about July and me, that turned into a different sort of essay entirely, something that surprised me in its truth. That feels like something worth sharing. 

Hello friends! Everything is okay!!! Summer is unfolding faster than I thought it would, hot and hazy and full, and here I am in July with my computer and a cup of coffee and some French music in the background, with my heart beating loud and asking where are the hours going? Where are the weeks going? I am honestly, actually shocked to find myself a week into July, less than a month left before I go back to Wheaton. This is such an in-the-middle summer, a weird sort of almost-adulthood right before a last year of college, a last few months of knowing a little of what will come next, my heart still reeling from its new state of singleness, strange and unfamiliar. Lots to think about, lots to pray about, lots of new kinds of creativity spinning and filling my time. Lots to write about and almost none of it actually written down.

I have discovered this summer, this July, that it is near-impossible for me to write at home (except in the morning, at the kitchen table, with earl gray tea, when no one else is home–and as I work most mornings, this hardly ever happens enough to count).  Somehow the softness of my room distracts me, invites me to snuggle into the corner of my big pillowy bed with a knitting project and F.R.I.E.N.D.S, or a book and a cup of tea. In my moments of energy, my out-of-the-bursts of motivation, you can usually find me at my rotary cutting station (makeshift, messy, on the floor for lack of counter space) or my new sewing machine, puzzling my way through a quilt block, baffled by how hard it is to get seams straight, welcoming the new and gentle challenge. Writing is something I often about doing but rarely do until I find myself in some sort of perfect hour or two, with just the right light and just the right caffeinated beverage in front of me (as mentioned, generally earl gray tea or coffee from the French-music-playing cafe).

I’m not sure why this is. But I want to change it, I really do, and all of the sudden my July heart is all warmed up and running towards this kind of storytelling, beating and singing as loud as summer thunderstorms, WRITE ME DOWN! WRITE ME DOWN! And so I’m trying to commit to this space anew this month, to open up my heart to be witnessed, to write life down. I want to show up, and to keep showing up, over and over again, to write things that are true and honest and real even when I don’t know, not yet, how to make them well-crafted. I’m learning to trust, as my theater mentor has often told me, that the story (/text/Scripture/instinct) is true whether I feel it in the moment or not. Writing has a power outside of me, outside of all of us I think. Marie Howe called it midwifery, in the master class I took with her, writing poems like giving birth. I’m not quite sure what that means yet, but I’m trying not to be afraid of it, to show up to it, to let God move in me and use this gift he’s given me to show me actual things about myself.

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