They Will Find You

be still and let them find you/they will come when they are ready ~ruth foreman

So says Ruth in a poem featured in Flat-Footed Truths: Writing Black Women’s Lives. She is talking about your words, your stories. They come to you and through you at the anointed, appointed time. I am finding this to be true in my own life. It has been quite an evolution really – moving from wanting to write my life to becoming ready to actually do it.

The more I read from women who are unabashedly unafraid to narrate their lives, the more I feel the urge to do the same. This has gone through various manifestations over the past two decades:

  • I want to be a writer!
  • I should write, but I have nothing to say. (This one for 10 years).
  • I have things to say, but to whom?
  • I should write, just because…who cares who reads it?
  • I’m afraid to write.
  • I need to write to explore, inquire, and grow. (But I’m still afraid to write…).

This last place is my present positioning. I am beginning to view writing as a tool of understanding and simultaneously as a tool of empowerment. As we write, we have the opportunity to reflect, but also the chance to rewrite our trajectories. As we write the past and the present, we have the opportunity to also write our futures.

We have a say. Writing gives voice to thoughts and makes them visible. In their visibility they become tangible: A memory becomes a guiding light. An amorphous thought becomes a pathway, a next step. It becomes something I can touch and do. Through writing, thoughts can become action.

I found myself reading Audre Lorde, Anaïs Nin, and literally breathing in their words. They refresh me; quench a thirst I wasn’t sure existed. Why? Because they are me, only they are brave. They write about the complexities of their lives, being honest and open about things others of us would rather keep secret. They hold uncomfortable memories up to the light, turn them round and round and draw the truth out, painful (or joyful) though it may be.

When I read their words I always have to journal or jot down the memories I’ve pushed away. The secrets I’ve kept hidden. The lessons I’ve left unlearned or unchallenged. Reading their bravery pushes me closer to my own.

In 2011, I am fearless. And so it goes, one word, one page at a time.

be still and let them find you/they will come when they are ready ~ruth foreman

16 Replies to “They Will Find You”

    1. Wendy! Thank YOU! I started writing a bit more as of late. Some public but this memoir stuff, very private and raw still. It’s a slow process, but good! I will share bits and pieces here later this summer.

  1. “writing as a tool of empowerment”….this is why I write. Why I use my empowered pen. To write as an advocate for others. -Goddess of Consumer Advocacy

  2. One of my 2011 goals was to resume writing. I’ve been blogging since January. It is scary, the idea of sharing your thoughts with others, BUT its also empowering. I’d love to follow you on your journey and hopefully get some inspiration along the way 🙂

  3. You, my dearest, need not fear the process nor the words. You ARE a writer, and all I’ve ever seen from you attests to this. Even better, you possess the discipline to ensure that when you begin on a project, you see it through; after all, you’re doing so as a testament to faith, “for the sake of the world, for the
    sake of the future and for the sake of others” (Introductory Study Exam, p. 51).

    Anticipate with joy the process of writing and the journey toward the written. It shall come, most assuredly; it shall come…

    1. thanks M.E. :-). and i love the encouragement from the study materials! i am totally going start anticipating the process of writing with joy. how powerful! it’s so easy to dread it. or worry about it in some way. joyful anticipation is nice guidance. thank you!

  4. Nicole! This is an excellent post. The new layout of your blog perfectly reflects the space of a writer ready to boldly profess her voice. The opening quote reminds me of one of my favorite quotes and meaning of the word “Selah”- “be still and know that I am God.” And I think they both say something powerful- if we are still God and our voice will find us. I’m going sit and meditate on that one. For sitting still has always been my problem and sometimes my inability to sit still has been the reason I did not write.

    I hope that you will have not only still moments but moments of courage and abandon where you let your voice hit the keys or page with the carefree spirit of a child and the wisdom of a seasoned woman who knows her value. You know what you can do. All you have to do is sit still and prove it to only you. I don’t know if I will ever write my life story out for the world to see but I have always enjoyed journaling since I was 12 yrs. old. When I have spells in which I do not write, there is a void.

    So thank you for this post because its the last thing I’m reading before I return to my journal and write.

    1. dina bina! thank you! i’m definitely working on the courage. i have some things that are nudging, ready to come out. i have a summer writing workshop in june where i plan to start tackling anything that i haven’t started by then. xoxo

  5. Wow! I like the new layout!

    Thank you for posting this. I have likened writing to pulling off sheafs of one’s skin as that’s often how it feels to me. Over the years of writing and not writing things, I’ve written words of joy, shame, horror, sadness and courage. It hasn’t seemed to mattered whether I’ve written online, in my journals, in professional journals, in anthologies, or along the pages of books. I keep thinking of pulling off skin on which to write. For me, my courage still, at times, fails at thinking about the skins I peel off as I write. I think about the pain.

    What I seem to forget most is that pain is temporary and skin grows back. We heal, perhaps not at the pace we want, regardless of whether we see that pace as slower or faster than we expected. So your post, if only for this post to write to you, reminds me that I should write more, to pull off more skin; to trust more in a cosmos that will allow the skin to grow back, perhaps better, smoother and clearer than what I once knew.

    You are a fantastic writer. You can herd and marshal words better than a band leader. Trust you will get them to play and play well. I hear them playing already and they all play a song that’s gloriously yours and beautiful. I look forward to hearing more.


  6. Hi ladybuddha,
    You are absolutely correct,”Writing gives voice to thoughts and makes them visible.”

    We live in our minds and in our hearts and when we refrain looking inward through the written word we lose a wonderful part of us; though writing is not for everyone, the craft is a tool that if embraced frees us.

    Long ago I suffered the pangs of reluctancy fear procrastination and doubt about writing (to a public domain). Though even as a younger guy in high school I loved writing, years later, I often wondered who would care to “read my writing?” I tried many times to begin only to give-up. Then one day it happened I connected and made a startling realization…writing not only freed me but offered my happiness.

    I too believe in “…being honest and open about things others of us would rather keep secret.” Writing offers me worlds that I can create and control.

    Writing offers truth…”…painful or (joyful) though it may be.”

    ladybuddha: Continue writing; though incomplete we are… writing makes us whole.

    Be Well

    1. thank you so much for your comment! writing is such a process! in school they/we emphasize the “steps” of writing, but not the internal work of it. that’s the hard part!

      thanks for reading and encouraging. xoxo

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