This morning, when I climbed back into bed for just a couple of minutes – feeling emotionally spent by the 20-minute-old day – Meander licked that hollow between my clavicles. Her little sandpaper tongue, hot with breathe, caressing my voice. The place where my speech comes from.  A little reminder to nurture that space in myself. IMG_1317

I am emotionally spent at this moment. The grief that washes in with Mother’s Day. The disappointment of finding barns that seemed perfect to reclaim until we saw them. The weariness of managing great, wonderful, flawed humans for the American Cancer Society Relay For Life. The strain of not quite knowing yet what my next book project will be.

All of these things weigh heavy in me today, they sit in my throat – tears uncried – and quiet my voice.  They stiffen my writing.

What I need – what I always need even if people downplay the “need” to write as self-glorification, or misguided adoration, or delusion – is to lose myself in a story.  I need to drop myself into a book, one I read at least, one I write at best.  I need to hide away among the words, line up my spine against the tall “l” like it’s a tree trunk in a vast forest and find my way through.

It’s not escapism. I’m not denying the struggles of my life or the lives around me. It’s healing.  While I wander – meander, if you will – among the trees, my mind and body find ideas and sustenance. They touch the weary places and feed them. When I emerge, I am clearer, less weary, more alive.

It’s like a hot breath has nursed me, roughing away the edges with a little sandpaper tongue.