In which I have stories to tell.

I’ve been taking a bit of a break from writing, investing a lot of my time into self-care and survival. It’s been a good time. I feel like I’m starting to discover the joy of simple living and being. It’s been healing and wonderful.

But there’s been this nagging guilt in the back of my head. After all, I just resolved to write more — more often, more freely, more honestly, more brokenly. And after only four posts, I’ve felt emotionally exhausted and mentally spent. There’s been a lot of introspection about this seeming flakiness of determining to write then taking a break so soon into the new year.

It’s not that I don’t have stories to tell. It’s not that I don’t have a voice that deserves to be heard. It’s that I feel like I don’t have words with which to tell my story.

Prismacolor brush-tip illustration marker.

Prismacolor brush-tip illustration marker.

The other week, Paige came over and we had an art night. It was thrilling to pull out our stock of art supplies, rediscover things we’d long forgotten we owned. I decided to look through a quote book for something to letter so I could practice with my newly-found brush-tip illustration marker, and I came across this phrase. It grabbed hold of me and wouldn’t let me go. Four little words that buoyed my soul and freed my spirit and helped me sink into the couch a little deeper, breathe a little more easily, relax into the moment instead of worrying about life.

Four little words told a story that refreshed my heart. And so I wrote them down. I told myself the story that I most needed to hear.

Michael began a project this year in which he is completing one drawing a day. Sometimes it will just be a sketch, and sometimes it’ll be a full-blown art piece. And something in my soul stirred as I watched him create artwork after artwork.

He is telling stories through pencil and marker.

So I joined in ever so hesitantly. I’m used to drawing portraits with pencil, taking my time and getting things perfect. I decided that life was messy, and so my art could be messy as well. And so I ditched the pencil and opted for markers – something a little more permanent, a little quicker, a little messier, a little less precise. I drew my friend Jes, and watched her face fill with delight when I presented her with my work. I drew Lindsey. Emily saw my drawings and asked me to choose her next, and I was able to add some hand-lettering to her portrait. Then I decided to try to do something more than a sketch, something more like a piece of art, and so I drew Alyssa. Each drawing is a story. Each drawing has a voice – my voice and the voices of these beautiful, strong, vibrant, wonderful women.

Sometimes telling a story and sharing your truth doesn’t have to be done with words. Sometimes it can be a silent practice, a wordless offering, that sparks conversation and brings health.

And so I’ve decided that I’d like to share with you all my voice, in all its iterations, on this blog. My stories, all of them, in words and pictures.

I hope you join the conversation wherever it happens.

Because the best thing about stories is the community around them.

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3 thoughts on “In which I have stories to tell.

  1. “It’s not that I don’t have stories to tell. It’s not that I don’t have a voice that deserves to be heard. It’s that I feel like I don’t have words with which to tell my story.”
    I’ve been feeling this so deeply lately. I spent an hour last night staring at a blank page, tears streaming down my face, emotions running so strong I couldn’t bear it – and the words wouldn’t come.

  2. Right before my mom passed away I dove head-first into watercoloring. It started as a project for the auction that our church held for her, and then it became a small online shop that gave me extra pocket change for awhile, and then I realized that it was a way to let create something beautiful as a means of coping and healing in the midst of the hardest season in my life. I’m still a writer, but at that point in time, the words didn’t go deep enough. The messiness of color pushed around paper, though? It felt the way my heart did, and I didn’t have to try and process so much the way that I have to when I’m writing.

    Loved this post, and love those four words you found. I hope this project brings you deep healing and grace, Dani.

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