Writing here has been harder as of late. Within the last month, I have fallen sick three times, with three separate viruses, now leaving me extremely tired and bereft of inspiration. The fumes I am left with have been channeled into my academic work, writing over 60 pages about feminist God-talk and spiritual autobiography, and making the trek from New York to Connecticut and back again. I also tried giving up coffee for three weeks “for my health,” which was, in short, a big mistake. Running, writing, thinking on empty is truly impossible without caffeine. I’ll detox later, when I move to California or something, thank you.
For the last year and a half while I’ve been at Yale, my commute home, along the coast at twilight, has been my time to write. With a protein bar in hand, I would breathe and watch the warm lights of storefronts and bakeries slip away with each former station stop. I would reflect upon my week of rigor and internalize what I’d learned about existentialism, critical theory, and theology. Inspiration would strike me, more often than not, suddenly, the way lightening strikes sand to make glass. Some days I would hit “publish” immediately, which sent a rush of adrenaline through me. And on others, I would pen something that remained in the draft folder. 22 drafts stand unfinished there, remnants of what I carried with me.
For the last few months, inspiration has not struck with such celebrated regularity. Instead, fatigue has overwhelmed me. Cold, sick, and tired, I could only focus on the images of home as I traveled: a hot shower, clean sheets, clean pajamas, dinner, my cat, my husband. The striking change, a glaring contrast, has reminded me of what creative expression requires: material. When spiritual and emotional matter are depleted, for this sort of writing, there is nothing for inspiration to work with. It is easier to let the humane dust settle inside and rest again before tomorrow. Without the strength that inspiration offered me, this blog, place, space has grown silent like the winter landscape. I have vacillated between: what is wrong with me… why won’t the words come!? and what does it even matter?
Creativity, no matter the form, asks something of us, requires courage of us. But courage and creativity bloom from health, from a well-nurtured soul. I have learned over the last few weeks that creativity, like the earth, has seasons, too. Drawing inward means that expression is tempered, energy is saved, stored, protected for later. And for now, that is enough because that is what is authentic.