Six years ago I lived in a huge house by the sea. Long wooden floors stretched their limbs effortlessly, and ceilings ran their fingertips across the sky. The walls echoed from the sound that got lost in all the space they held.
In this really big house I had a huge amount of stuff. Hand-me-down lounge suites and big pieces of a failed marriage in the shape of more chairs and tables and beds.
Sometimes, in the silent and small spaces between the stuff, I would hear a tiny voice. Not the I’m hearing voices kind. More like the telling myself the truth kind. I heard over and over again…Declutter and write. Declutter and write. Declutter and write.
I started small. A bookshelf here. A TV there. But then I locked hands with mania and we flew across the universe. I threw away all that I loved and cherished over a few months of crazy. I was left with nothing but a handful of books and a suitcase of clothes in a very tiny studio apartment.
I had sprinted from too much to too little. I hadn’t decluttered; I had burnt to the ground. And I hadn’t written a word. Not even one.
But then, just like after a starvation diet, I quickly swung into a binge of consumption. Lots of debt and purchases and food and toxic relationships. My small flat’s spine caved with the weight I pushed across its door each day. Trying to fill more than just empty spaces and voids and emptiness. I was trying to bury myself and my feelings completely.
Still, crawling like blood through the cracks between pieces of stacked furniture and piles of donuts, the same three words followed me. Declutter and write.
Once again, I started small. People started noticing the weight fall off my body, and I noticed the weight slowly shift from my home.
It has been a series of very slow steps.
I am still only on the first leg of a very long marathon.
It is also why I haven’t written a blog post for so long. I have so much to say and don’t know where to start so I watch the cursor flash and leave the screen blank.
I fill other pages with my words. Poetry. Short stories. Essays. I am starting to pour them gently into the world. Some are already turning into tiny flowers and have inspired me to try blog again.
Perhaps that is what makes this hard. My blog is where I tell the truth and am exposed for who I really am. When I write fiction I can make up different worlds and stay hidden. When I write here I am tapping keys at an empty, decluttered space. It’s open. Visible. Transparent. Which is exactly why I need to come back. To listen to that voice: Declutter and write.
So here I am, on my knees.