I’m sitting at my desk, trying to settle my mind from the list of things I need to do, the list of things that always seem more important than my writing. I’m sitting, breathing, letting my mind wander. . . when I hear it.
“That chapter where you look down over the river, that should be the first chapter.”
I can say with complete certainty that this was not my voice, not the one that I hear most of the time. No, this had a different timbre, a quiet one, almost a whisper. A voice from the truest part of myself.
I’ve heard from this place a number of times when it comes to my writing. It’s the voice that guides me when I translate the largeness inside me into words. It’s the voice that guides me when I walk and can’t quite get my thought around my idea, the one that reminds, “Just write this. Don’t try to figure it out. Just write it.”
The voice is always there, I can feel is pinprick of pulse somewhere in the center of myself. Its presence is what keeps me writing even when it feels futile or burdensome. But it doesn’t insist on being heard. It doesn’t scratch it’s way through my mind to be heard. Instead it waits until I settle, and then like the sound of the breeze that has always been unheard in the trees, I hear it, just when I take time and stop.
Sometimes I want to think it’s me, the tiny part of myself that is creative and pure and not wrapped up in the day-to-day, not twirled around by people’s perceptions or opinions. But most times, I know this voice is the still small one, the one that Elijah heard in the cave. In Hebrew, the word we often translate as “still small voice” is actually closer to “whisper.”
It’s easy to dismiss this voice because I am cynical and skeptical, despite my faith. It’s much easier to believe it’s my subconscious working it’s way out because then I don’t have to really listen. I can keep busy and frantic and listen to the voices that are so much easier to hear most of the time.
Despite the wisdom and the strength and truth of what I hear, I don’t take much time to listen. That to-do list just becomes too pressing; the email too important; the phone too insistent. So I respond to those voices instead, and I get lost again. It is then that writing feels like a chore.
But when I listen, when I settle in, when I open my ears to hear, that whisper reaches me and it charges the truest part of who I am created to be, “Just write, Andi. Just write.”
Where does your truest voice reside? How do you make room to listen to it?