Considering Community and Place

I have a lot of drafts sitting around on my computer right now. Even though I’m posting here less than I sometimes have, I still find myself writing quite often. At this point, writing’s become such a habit for sorting out life and most of its odd bits and pieces that I’m not sure I could stop entirely even if I tried.

A big part of it is that I don’t know where it is exactly that I fit. Especially not right now, sitting in a sort of limbo that I simply didn’t expect – even in my wildest imaginings.

For the last several months, I’ve been living in a sort of denial, because sometimes denial is the only thing that makes a situation remotely inhabitable. I’m starting, however, to grapple with all the things I couldn’t think about before, all the things that were too overwhelming or frightening or threatening to consider.

Like the fact that to attempt to have a child – no matter how that journey ends -means letting go of pieces of yourself.

It means making yourself terribly vulnerable.

And I think that’s what scares me a bit about posting here, makes me want to weigh my words very, very carefully. Because choosing to seek out community, to listen, is also an act of vulnerability, especially when one has already been dealt the great unfairness of infertility.

It is not only the bloggers that open themselves, but also the readers.

I don’t have an answer to how to balance that responsibility some days: to truthfully tell one’s story without inadvertently hurting someone listening.  Except to say this: it’s a trust I don’t take lightly.  Especially now, this is ground I want to tread mindfully and carefully.

~*~

Recently I came across these words in the acknowledgements for Louise Penny’s latest novel The Long Way Home: “While essentially a solitary undertaking, I find that when I write there is a parade of people, of events, of memories keeping me company.”

It wasn’t until I read that line from Penny that I realized what holds me here.

Despite the essentially solitary undertaking of writing, there is a community because of it.  There are so many exceptional people whose stories and voices and individual blog posts have (and continue to) shape my life. It helped to see what others had found in life, especially the reassurance that no matter how I resolved my infertility – with or without children – there was a life beyond this particular time of pain, fear, and messiness.

This is the community in which I am mother to four children – the vanishing twin, the baby who had a heartbeat, the ectopic miscarriage, and my current pregnancy.

This is the community where, despite the fact that people are experiencing so much pain, people have gone out of their way in generosity to come alongside me.

This is the community where, sometimes, there have been posts or moments that make me blink away because they touched my insecurities, fears, and pain. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes not so much.

This is the community where I’ve been forced to confront my own attitude and dark places.

This is the community that understands what I mean when I say I’m not yet resolved.

After all this, I still couldn’t tell you exactly where I fit. But this is the place where those memories, those events, those people keep me company when I write.

And for that, I am grateful.

Thank you.

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One thought on “Considering Community and Place

  1. You fit here because you created a You-shaped space here. You still need support, you still have support to give, you still have words to say. I understand moving carefully, but I hope you keep moving.

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