I have been in a funk lately, unable to put the multitude of thoughts and ideas I have swirling in my head onto paper or screen in a coherent flowing piece of work. I cannot call it writer's block but just life's happenings throwing down roadblocks between me and the notebook or the computer. Each time I sit with the intent to write for a while, something else has come up to keep me from my task. I think I may also have a mild case of Seasonal Affective Disorder. After spending many long hours in my gardens from mid-March to mid-November, many an afternoon on the patio writing on my laptop, and many a morning just watching the birds from my chair in the yard, I think the lack of sunlight and fresh air has placed me in a state of semi-suspended animation. My thoughts are scattered, I am very forgetful and, by midday, I am ready for a nap. It is winter, after all, and a very good time to hibernate. Just ask a bear. But I need to get myself back on track, get back to feeling like my witchy village wise woman pagan writer self. But how?
I have been asking this of myself every day for about the past three weeks. I meditated on what has been going on in my life that would make writing feel so hard for me. There have been many family issues cropping up since the Summer. Yes, they have derailed me a bit but never made writing feel like a chore. Then the holidays came barrelling through, with so much to do and so much time spent on shopping, decorating, cooking and entertaining. I still managed to bang out a few articles and a blog post or two, through interruptions and all. But then January arrived and it was time to plan, prepare for, clean for and host my sister's baby shower, which was an absolute hit by the way. Throw into this mix being a parent of a teenage son, who is striving to be an independent individual adult (think 15 going on 30) but going about it the wrong way and - bang! - I crashed. I felt physically, mentally and spiritually spent. I was done, like stick a fork in me done. I couldn't even muster up an article for my column at The Pagan Household last week.
I delved into the depths of "poor me". No article. No significant work done on my book. No blog posts and so no growing number of blog followers. No garden in which to retreat to ground and center myself through getting my hands good and dirty. No abundant flowers and herbs to bring indoors with which to make teas, smudgesticks, and healing brews. Just the life of a working housewife and mother, keeping the house and the lives of those in it moving from day to day. Nothing spiritual about it. Nothing witchy about it. Nothing worth writing about. Poor me. And then it dawned on me. I am my own worst enemy sometimes. I was fighting against life happening, against change happening, and I was not going with the flow, the flow of winter.
Retreat, rest, and regenerate. That is the flow of winter. Like my plants in the garden, it was time to "die off" to be reborn again in the spring. It was happening all around me, in nature, in the issues with my son, in the daily workings of home and office, in my spirituality, in my path, and in my writing. It is the period right before a time of growth and rebirth, a death of sorts. I was dying in a way to be reborn again.
And who will I be when this process is over and spring returns? The jury is still out on that one as I have only begun to claw my way back from the depths of winter. I do know that I am no longer the mother of a middle school-age boy but the mother of a high school-age young man, requiring a whole new set of parenting skills and the occasional "medicinal" shot of whiskey from time to time. I also know that I am no longer just a mother but teetering on the phase of the crone. My body knows it, my spirit knows it and my mind is catching up to it. It's okay though. My maiden still comes out to play! After all, we cannot become one without the others. I also know that I am no longer just a witch who likes gardening but a witch whose gardens are entwined with her practices, with her art, with her healing, with her life.
As far as being a writer, I know this. I am no longer just a pagan writer. I am a budding pagan author. It's there, right there in front of me. I can feel it, see it rippling in the air in front of me. But I need to make some changes to a few things before it can really happen. I need to change me, first and foremost. I need to let go of fear, for that is what is truly holding me back. Fear of rejection, fear of not pleasing those who read my work, fear of not being accepted for who and what I am, fear of not being able to write when I sit down to do so, fear that my writing just isn't good enough. I have to let it all go. I need to write more often, no matter how many words I put on the paper or on the screen, no matter what the content, no matter who reads it, no matter if anyone reads it at all.
And then are the changes in my writing that, on the outside, might seem mundane but, at their core, are crucial. I need to change this blog. I spent the better part of last Friday evening brainstorming ideas about where I should go with the Village Wise Woman blog. I thought of changing the name but I feel that is who I am, a village wise woman, the Village Wise Woman. Whatever name change occurs will incorporate that name. I would like to grow the blog, get more followers, more readers. I am thinking of ways to do that. Perhaps guest bloggers, some giveaways of items from some crafty pagans, and having some links to other blogs and sites that I recommend and to the bloggers and writers that I respect and admire. I am also toying with the idea of a daily post, something short and to the point, like a daily tarot card or a daily guide to pagan gardening to include moon phase, astrological influences, etc. A blog overhaul is definitely in the works.
(This is where I need the help of my readers. I would like to hear from you. From the above ideas, what would you like to see on here? Leave a comment on this post and let me know your thoughts.)
I am learning to go with the flow again, getting back on my path and moving onward. I am changing again, becoming someone new while incorporating the old parts of me. Winter is here only for another six weeks and, soon, I will be born again, as my new fearless witchy mother-crone village wise woman pagan author self.