things not expected

He looked for himself but he could not find himself anymore. -Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Well. Here I am again. Post-blogging break, post-everything break. I did, indeed, get that life sabbatical, and so many things that I wanted to happen... well, they happened!

I went off to England for two weeks, and followed it up with another week in Louisiana. Three full weeks of change: I swapped time zones, I swapped cultures, I swapped food and habits and patterns.

I searched for beauty and found it. I looked for good reading and found it. (My nightstand is piled with books, books of all kinds. I'm an unabashed reading glutton, lately, and I am loving it.)

And I wanted to write aimlessly and vulture-free, and oh my friends, did I ever do that.

Quite aimless. Quite vultureless. In two weeks of English rain and English sun, I filled a notebook with crazy drawings, copied conversations, notes on what strangers were reading, lists of street names, ideas for the future, thoughts, descriptions, and pure heedless rambling.


There's just one catch.

I promised myself I would come back with something to say. I went off looking for new ideas. A new gist, a new crux, a new kernel that would turn into something, something great. Ideas for novels, chapters, character names. Ideas for our Etsy store, ideas for this lovely blog.

And it's funny. I searched everywhere for ideas, and all I found was a huge plateau of silence.

I'm back home, facing my computer, and where there used to be tangles of words and armies of characters, milling around in my brain, there's just peace and quiet.

At first, I was completely taken aback.

And then, being me, I asked myself "what the heck does that mean?" a dozen times, and in a dozen different ways.

I've settled out what it means for my writing life: I'm taking this peace and this lull, and turning it into days of reading, studying, diving into creativity books, savoring new pages of my trusty dictionary, and generally praying my head off.

Not a bad way to spend an August.

But as for the blog: well, my friends, I'm not going to be posting anymore. Not for the foreseeable future, anyway.

The foreseeable future: a phrase that's made me laugh lately. This summer has taught me many things, one of which is: I can't see five minutes in front of my face, let alone The Future. Three months ago, I felt sure of all kinds of things. And now, I'm sure of ... well, not much.

But there's such peace in this quiet, peace in the not-knowing, that I'm not sorry for it. And no, I wouldn't trade it for the three-months-ago me.

It's a lovely break from the Jenn who knows everything. For a while, I get to be the Jenn who doesn't know much, and it's a stunning relief. Like mental rain after too much sun.

If that's not a life sabbatical, I don't know what one is.

So. Here is the last thing I have to say:

It is an enormous privilege to have an audience. To be read by my friends and also found by strangers. And so, for all your kind listening, thank you.

Good luck, with everything you're doing. I know you're doing big things: I wish you well in that.

But take some time, this late summer and early fall, and seek a little mental rain. Bring a stack of books, and a cup of coffee, and know that I'll be doing the same.