I'm searching for my voice. Have you seen it? No, of course you haven't, because I'm not sure I ever had it to lose.
Discovering one's voice is tough work. My inner monologue is a chameleon, constantly changing and shifting to suit my dialogue partner or my current mood. I'm sitting very still these days, trying to hear, straining for a syllable of my voice. Is it catty? Sarcastically biting reaching hard to be witty, when indeed I am not? Do I wax sentimental too much, caught in emotions that you, the audience, find dull?
In The Treehouse, Leonard Wolf demands you to speak in your own voice otherwise you're work is meaningless. It is not you. He also says we are all artists. That our art is our life's work. Be it in the traditional art forms, or in a less conventionally thought of method. Bringing happiness to those individuals around you, fixing an engine, fishing, campaigning for a cause, recording history. Whatever it is that you contribute to this world, that is your life's work.
I desperately want my contribution to be words. Solid, tangible things, printed and saved for all time. Life stored on dusty shelves to be flipped through periodically at whim. This has been a dream for a long time, but put on hold for my true life's work. Reading this book, I had a revelation. I am a mother. Nothing new there, I've been one for over 5 years. That makes me a baby in the land of motherhood, but my revelation was this. No matter what I write, or submit, or have published, I will not have made an impact.
But in another arena, my mark is already deep. It shows in the politeness of my children. It shines in their deep bear hugs and whispered I love yous. It blazes across the sky with each new milestone Sugarbaby accomplishes. It is there, it is real, it is tangible. It hurts. Pain is real, pain is an impression not soon forgotten. Art is pain. Motherhood is pain. An ache so deep, so pressing that you might explode from the sheer amount of love contained in your heart. Heartache is real, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
A Hallmark card I am not. Mistakes, I have made them. But my babies? My darling children. The flesh and blood that I would lay my life down for? They will remember me. And in the end, that is all I could ever hope for.
My voice might be eluding me right now, it might take years to find it. Maybe when I am older, wiser, and my beautiful babies don't need me quite so much, I can work on another avenue of my life. Until then, I'm going to be still, as best I can, and listen. Just listen.