The last 40 days held the expected and the unexpected.
I’ll admit, the first two weeks felt less like writer’s a vow of silence and more like a vacation. It just felt so good to have one less thing to do. My mind would start composing, but I would stop myself and focus on something else. Yes, there were times I gazed blankly into the distance. But maybe my mind needed those moments to detox. Maybe it’s these blank, dull moments of emptiness that I was craving.
My father recently retired from his permanent position. When it became official, he felt a strange sense of disembodiment at not having to check and respond to emails. In a similar fashion, I suppose, my writerly self felt like a phantom limb. Knowing that I could not write, even if I wanted to, I could only ignore the twitches and move on to reading, to work, to dhikr.
It was towards the end that I truly felt a sense of emptiness and began to long to come back.
I guess the muscle has weakened. As I write this, for example, the words are not flowing as they used to. But that is all right. Better to start from scratch.
In terms of lessons learned and strengths gained:
- Not everything that can be said needs to be said. This is something I already referred to in my previous two posts, but experiencing the truth of the statement by refraining from writing took it to a new level.
- If a thought comes to me and I have the urge to express it, I’m better off waiting to see if it recurs a couple of more times before I try developing it in written form.
- There is so much to listen to, both in person and by reading. One of the seven effective habits is to seek first to understand, then be understood. Now that I look back at this period of silence, I can definitely see a decrease in the number of occasions where I interrupted people with my own take on a situation. So written silence did end up influencing my habits in speaking.
Man, writing that was tiring! But my system has definitely reset itself, and I’m primed for a joyous, creative 2014, InshAllah.
Wishing all of you a wonderful one, with thanks for your continued support!