I want to live at the edge of a wood-shrouded glade, where the shadows dance and the monsters tumble. I want to tuck myself into that space – thatched roof and wood stove, like the Hansel and Gretle witch without the devouring and with less candy – and watch the story unroll itself in the forest.
This place makes me feel most true, most real, most the person I was created to be.
The place I find when I watch Lucy wander into Narnia, the place where people are lowered through roofs by friends, the place where I slip my hand into the heart of words.
Here, generosity makes my heart lift like a balloon, and I am able to see people’s wounds like birthmarks on their necks. Here, I stay silent most because listening is what causes the magic and brings the glittered fairies of friendship and trust. Here, I fish words out of streams as if they are crawdads that I will baby and raise to be giant, friendly creatures with antenna and claws they use to help children climb trees.
I do not live here now – not all the time. No, the place I usually abide is defensive and biting – where we are all so engrossed in our privilege, the shrouds we cast about ourselves to protect and to separate – that we cannot see the arrow that protrudes from the heart of that young woman weeping at the sight of our gorgeous, curly-haired child.
So I write my way to this beauty. I read my way to this sanctuary because I need it. I think we all need it. More and more as we find ways to speak our minds as if the most important thing was speaking instead of laughter and a giant game of freeze tag on a spring day.
This is the place where writing and reading take us, and I revel there – the truth like lightning dancing in the sky.
What does the place where you find the truest words look like to you? I’d love to hear.