I was recently encouraged to write.
No, to make time for writing;
try it on for size and see how it fits.
You see, I haven’t been myself.
I’ve been under the bell jar, in a way,
and it’s a lonely place to be.

I processed some thoughts and I promised myself
I would sit down tonight and make room for writing.
It was the first time in a long time that I felt
if I didn’t write, my chest might explode
from the emotions trapped inside,
that my mind would go crazy, full of stories
eager to live but nowhere to go.
Writers – we’re all mad here, you see.

So I spoke writing into the void
and the void answered back
with half-finished tales
of family, friendship, and melancholia
that I forgot I wrote a lifetime ago…

And as I reread those stories,
I noticed a common thread –
a house of nondescript character,
a red-bricked cape cod that sits on a busy road
across from land that used to be a school
where my cousins and I played as children
on the same playground
where my father spent his elementary school day recess,
the house the only constant
save for God and my propensity to make
everything into a joke…

I knew I wrote about that house
but I didn’t know that it was always
that house.
That when I create new stories with different characters
and different settings in different genres,
the one constant feature is
that house.
That house always represents home for
the main character.
That house is always filled with memories and love
and heartache and growing pains.
That house is always the house I write –
the physical representation of home.

And you’re not there.

Someone else lives there, and everything is changing again,
like the world always does.
And maybe it’s the way the days are getting shorter,
or maybe it’s the approaching holidays,
or the state of the world,
or that I’m getting older and therefore
even more prone to the wilds of my imagination
and my old librarian soul
that craves nostalgia and cataloging chaos into order

But

I like the realization that
I’m still writing that house into my stories.

I like that the first thing I wrote about
after finding the desire to write – scribble – again
is about that house.

It feels like coming home.

Written by Meg Diefenbacher

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