write a letter


Dear self,

You have been quiet. Not just here, semi-publicly wordless, but in your notebooks and on your beloved steno pads and on your scraps of paper in the bottom of your purse. Your camera has rested snug in its padded bag. Radio silence and imageless days slipping by.

This does not have to be a problem. At any rate, the problem is not so much the words you have not written or the shots you have not captured. The problem is that,  as the days slide by, you feel farther and farther from the country where you have written before, where words are scratched and twined and shaped until somehow a poem rises from the page.  That land feels more and more like a half-remembered vacation spot, a place you have visited but never lived, and the details of the route there escape you.

This imagined distance makes room for fear, which is always curling hungry around your ankles anyway.  Fear that you cannot find your way back to where the writing is, fear that the words have dried up.  That you have somehow used your allotment of poetry up, and there won’t be any more, thank you. Take up something else, girlie, anything but a pen.

But let me remind you, you have frozen in this fear before, and that means you know how to free yourself from it.  One line, and then another. About something, anything, about breakfast or laundry or the weather in Paris, about Ferris wheels or the glorious golden rise of cornbread in a cast iron skillet. Word by word you will make your way back, you’ll clear your throat, the light will lie on the counter like a spill of buttermilk and you’ll hold the day in your palm, a warm brown egg.

The map you’re making shows the truth, that the words do not live in a distant exotic place, but they cluster in the corners of your kitchen, they’re pushing up like the bulbs in the yard.  Let’s go gather them.




Stretching toward spring with all my might

and with the prompts at Write ALM





16 thoughts on “write a letter

  1. kristinblankenship

    Missy, I can so relate to what you have written here. I often feel this way when I finish a piece of art that I have been working-on for several months. It takes me a while to decompress and refuel my creative tank and I feel like I am floundering, afraid that the ideas won’t come again. I guess the good news is that God doesn’t take away our gifts even if we walk away from them for a time!

    1. adailyportion Post author

      Kristin— Thanks for writing– I wondered about this for you after you shared your wonderful process for your recent large art piece. (I loved that!) I’ve learned that a few rough re-starts are better than not creating at all, hoping an “inspired feeling” will come back. Also, when I feel so stuck, I try to input the best words I can find– old favorites or new– just to keep swimming in words and beauty.

  2. Cyn

    I needed this today. I’m struggling the last few weeks to keep up with the daily writealm prompts. This is a time in my life when I most need to be writing and letting out these thoughts. Thank you for the reminder that just as it is one foot in front of the other with this it is one word and then another.

  3. Angie

    Oh Missy. Oh, oh, oh, Missy. I just… *sigh*. You have captured both my fear and my freedom in your stunning words. Thank you for reminding me. ❤


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s