being at home

by Elouise

being at home
in her spacious small body
the caged bird sings

My life has felt unusually restricted this winter. It seems outrageous. Here I am, an adult woman with my working years behind me, and ‘nothing’ to do but record thoughts going through my mind.

I’ve almost finished my slow reading of Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. I’ve been on the lookout for times when the caged bird sings. Times when it seems there’s no way out. No way to reverse what’s happening. Until someone begins singing or writing or speaking, creating a different reality. Intangible yet real.

In addition, this morning I read the following lines from a favorite book on writing.

We can travel a long way and do many different things, but our deepest Happiness is not born from accumulating new experiences. It is born from letting go of whatever is unnecessary, and knowing ourselves to be always at home.

Sharon Salzburg, quoted in Gail Sher’s book, One Continuous Mistake: Four Noble Truths for Writers, p. 36, Penguin Group 1999

As Gail Sher puts it, “Home is where writing happens. The writer’s desk is a miniature world. Self-contained. Hopefully quiet. Anywhere else is somewhere else.”

It’s easy to write about somewhere else, or wish I were somewhere else. In someone else’s body or circumstances. I’m as prone to wandering as anyone. Besides, I think I’ve already had more than enough to say about myself.

Yet here I am today, feeling a tug to say more. In particular, more about my relationships with men. And saying it in a way that sets me free. The way Maya Angelou’s words about her life set her free.

Though my life might seem tame when compared with others, I used to think I would rather die than talk about my history with men. This past week I pulled out notes I made years ago that will help me do this. It’s important, because I believe my history with men was driven by things I was looking for. Not by something inherently wrong with me.

In the end, I want what sometimes has felt like a cage to be part of my home. The platform from which I sing.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 20 January 2018
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