For some months now I have retreated inside myself. I stopped tweeting, blogging and minimised my Facebook time. I was drawn into a silence that was both comfortable and oppressive. It’s usually whilst exploring with words that I discover how I feel, what I think, even what I know about any given subject. For a time that has been lost to me.
In part, I must have been afraid of what others might think, of other people’s reactions to my thoughts and opinions. I know this because I began to find a way to write again, on paper, using a script of my own devising, collated from my knowledge of Hebrew, Greek and Hungarian. In this secret writing, I could be honest with myself and begin to learn once more what was affecting me, driving me, welling up from the depths of me, seeping into me from those amongst whom I move and what was desperate to be poured out in prayer.
Another part of this silencing stems from a voice that tells me that what I have to say is of no help or interest to anyone else. That my life is simultaneously too ordinary and so far from most people’s experience that I cannot speak into the hubbub of online conversation and be heard. As I silenced myself, however, this voice grew stronger and began to convince me that in real life people wouldn’t want to speak to me, I couldn’t imagine why they’d want me to visit them or be at their events (even though I’m the Rector) and so I began to disappear.
For the past couple of months I’ve been actively making myself visit people, somebody each day. I’ve been making the phone calls that I have avoided. I’ve been present and visible at civic events. So now, I am beginning to write again. I know this post is just a thin chicken broth, but that’s just what’s needed when you’re weak.
What I have recognised is that right here in the diocese of Edinburgh, as I serve St James the Less Penicuik and St Mungo’s West Linton and live my family life I walk on unique ground. I am a female priest with Aspergers’s syndrome, with three children on the Autistic spectrum and a neuro-typical husband. That makes my perspective different to most but draws me into a number of communities that converse here on the inter-web.
So in the coming days, weeks and months you can expect me to be writing, reflectively, about a range of topics. I’ll tag them:
- SEC, when they’re to do with the Scottish Episcopal Church.
- Prayer, if I’m offering something more broadly to do with relating to God.
- Neuro, if I’m mainly thinking about neurodiversity.
- Aspie/Autie, if I’m specifically reflecting on being Aspergers or Autistic
- Politics, for obvious reasons
- Poetry, when my creative juices have been flowing
- Heartbreak, when personally, locally or internationally life is causing my heart to break.
I hope you might read and comment on some of the posts and if no one does, the act of writing itself is healing, creative and draws me back into the world. I feel as if I am being ripped out of a heart tree from the forest in Uprooted, by Naomi Novik.