My father was a poet—although I’m not sure he knew it.
He loved rhyme and alliteration—the creativity and rhythm of it all.
Everyone he loved, he gave a rhyme-based nickname. Mine shall remain a closely guarded secret here. Yet, so many family and friends sat with reticent smiles remembering their lovingly bestowed monikers as we memorialized him late last year.
It may have been his influence that led me first to the belief that my writing gift was as a poet. Although, I later embraced that I am firmly drawn to prose. I am a writer who writes as celebration, as therapy, as offering, and more.
One of the challenges that I’m finding about the current coronavirus-induced moment is that it has completely disrupted my rhythm. The rhythm of my life largely drove the rhythm of my writing—something which I didn’t fully understand until that rhythm was abruptly disrupted.
I write daily—even now although some days it’s utter nonsense.
Some days I write a single phrase or sentence, other days I write for hours.
My general writing patterns before this were legendary.
I wrote in the morning.
I wrote in pockets and crannies between meetings.
I am even one of those people who gets in a deep writing groove on planes.
I’ve also been known to pull over mid drive to capture a thought or two.
I wrote in my work office.
I wrote in coffee shops.
I wrote in the library.
I wrote in botanical gardens and quiet corners of museums.
So, although I know logically that this moment of a global pandemic is nothing I’ve encountered and, thus, I should not be surprised that it would impact my ‘normal’ routines and rituals. I truly thought the transition to writing from home would be smoother for me.
I can quite literally write almost anywhere, so surely I can write here I presumed.
What I have found, however, is that the monotony of writing in the same place, same space—day in and day out—has completely thrown my rhythm into chaos.
So, I’m finding a new rhythm—one that is not driven by the external demands of a life on the move and in which I’m frequently on the go. The novelty of a new space or new view, or the comfort that comes from sliding into a familiar booth of a favorite coffee shop or nook of a commonly visited garden can no longer be the cues that stimulate creativity and word flow.
Now, I’m having to draw on the internal compass that drives the deposition of words from my inner voice to the page.
I’ve said before that writing is as essential as breath to the writer.
So, finding ways to write means that I’m no longer holding my breath.
Breathing is now the new rhythm…breathing oxygen in and expelling carbon dioxide out to sustain my life.
Now I’m also writing to the new rhythm of ‘breathing’ as composition—taking reflection in and expelling out words to make sense of the world through writing which is indeed as essential to me as my lifelong form of breathing—and certainly is sustaining me in this uncertain moment.
What are you learning new about yourself in this atypical moment? I’d love to hear more about it. As always find me on Twitter—@BerondaM.