When I was in elementary school, I often visualized my life in three parts – school, home, and church. I didn’t see those parts of my life as very connected because most of my church friends went to a different school, and no one from school or church lived in my neighborhood. In fact, with the exception of a couple of girls who lived next door for a couple of years, my home life was made up of my parents, my brother, and the retirees who made our North Carolina mountain neighborhood their summer home.
I began to think of my life in compartments, sections, maybe because I needed to not expect the people I loved from one space to be in another. This way of thinking saved my tiny heart from missing people all the time.
That habit has stayed with me into adulthood. I often think of my life as being writing, farming, and everything else. The thing is that now those categories aren’t serving me well – in fact, rather than protecting me from heartache, they are actually causing it as I try to push parts of me into boxes that don’t quite let all my limbs in.
I’m weary of being a contortionist for my own existence.
Yesterday, on the advice of my friend Jenel, I moved our God’s Whisper Farm website here to Andilit. You can see the links in the upper right-hand corner of this page. For several months now, I had been trying to separate my writing life from my farming life, to hold open two public windows into that space, and honestly, I’m a bit exhausted from trying. Life just isn’t that tidy.
So now, I’ve brought them together here, and from time to time, I’ll be writing about the farm in the mix of writing about, well, all of life here. I feel liberated already.
A lot of the advice about blogging says that you need to be very specific about your topic, that you need to do lists and offer wisdom, that you need to sliver off a piece of yourself and present that in a palatable, easy to digest format for readers.
I’m fairly sure that type of writing – and living because, really, for me there is no difference – works really well if you are feeding cannibalistic baby birds. But it doesn’t work well for me, and I don’t think you, the folks who grace this space with your time, need to be fed pre-chewed words.
Thus, I’m going to write whatever the hell I feel like here. I may write about writing, I may write about farming, I may just talk about cross-stitch for an entire post. I’ll include images of our farm, and I’ll talk about the dreams we have for this space to be a retreat for weary people. I’m going to share what it feels like to finish a manuscript – which I’m doing this week – and what it feels like to, again, query agents and get rejections. I’m also going to share what it feels like to spend most of your days alone – for good and for ill. I may even write about faith more.
I imagine some folks will need to move along – to find the blogs and words that suit their lives at this moment more perfectly – and while that will always be disappointing to me (and I’m okay with that – I hate to see friends move away), it’ll be okay.
Because I’ll be okay. And whole. And not segmented into a bunch of boxes. I will be writing me.
Yesterday, my friend Ed Cyzewski wrote a beautiful post inspired by writer Richard Rohr.
Your identity should never hinge on something that you have to do. Your identity should rest on what you have already been given, what no one can take away, and what is perfect and irrefutably true.
For too long, I have let this space me about something I do, not the person I am. I’m changing that.
May this blog be a space where I and everyone who comes here can be ALL of who they are in every way, as we change and flow the days of joy and sorrow. May you know you are welcome here. May I know that all of me is, too.
If you are interested in visiting God’s Whisper Farm, we welcome you. We have several workshops and retreats coming up, and we invite you to join us. Find out more here – http://andilit.com/events-down-on-the-farm/.