The quiet hallway

by Jennifer on August 18, 2009

So, this is my 300th post. Sorry, no balloons or cupcakes (though cupcakes are always welcome…If anyone needs my address, let me know.) There’s nothing special about that number, nothing it can hold over 299 or 301. And it’s taken me longer to get here than most, since I don’t post so often, but it still feels like something.

These last few months, I’ve handled words in a different way that I used to. In writing songs, I have to use fewer of them.  I still weigh, consider, trade, bargain, edit, sift, suffer over, regret, edit some more. All so that at the end of the process, maybe maybe maybe there will be a sigh or a hell, yeah or tears or goosebumps.

There’s nothing I like better than to thread them all together into strings of hundreds until they light up. Until they cast even faint light on something true, or pull the darkness from where it crouches in corners. Or just look pretty. I’m a sucker for that, too.

So there’s not much fun in admitting that sometimes, somewhere along the line, a bulb is burned out, leaving the rest of them dark.

But that’s how I’ve been feeling lately, and why so many days have passed since my last post. Our move has been delayed, so there’s that, but it’s more. Somewhere inside me, something is disconnected. Broken, maybe. Not sure yet how to label it, not sure what words to use as push pins to hold that spot in place until I can find it and sort it out.

With our move on hold for a few more weeks, I had to enroll the kids in school here until then. An adjustment, for sure, but they accepted it with a good amount of grace, edged with only the thinnest bead of disappointment at having to start school two weeks sooner than they anticipated.

Their first day, last Friday. I walked them to their classrooms. To get to Elle’s classroom, we had to walk down what they call “the quiet hallway.”

It wasn’t until I walked back along that hallway on my way out of school that I realized what an apt metaphor it was for a place I’d like to stay for a while. The quiet hallway…where I can sit and rest and watch, with my tangle of strings of lights, until I find the place where everything has disconnected. No, no. Not that one. Next. Not that one.

Oh yes, there.

So I guess that’s where you’ll find me for a while. Maybe not for long, but if the words are spare and far from each other around here, as they have been, you’ll know why.

See you soon.


I wanted to email everyone individually to thank you for the lovely, kind words about the song. Still trying to do that, but if I don’t, please know how much your words mean to me. Love you all. xoxo

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Smalltown Mom August 18, 2009 at 9:10 am

The quiet hallway is a place we all need sometimes.

Madge August 18, 2009 at 9:14 am

i’m moving into the quiet hallway and never ever leaving. ever.

Dharmamama August 18, 2009 at 10:19 am

Funny – I was just telling a friend that meditation has given me the gift of a quiet space inside myself. Your words are quiet, but your life and contemplation go on, I know that.

Suzanne August 18, 2009 at 11:11 am

oh. I wish we knew each other better, I’d give you a big hug and say ‘I understand, take your time.’ so sending it anyhow. maybe you just need a break, or another venue. whatever it is, or wherever it is, I send you best wishes. (and will keep you posted on where I end up).

V-Grrrl at Compost Studios August 18, 2009 at 11:21 am

I’ve been blogging for four years now, written about 700 posts, and like you, I’m out of words lately.

Thumbelina August 18, 2009 at 3:35 pm

I’m in the quiet hallway too. I am in that place and I have worked out what broke. Nothing broke. Something changed. The reason I started to blog has changed. I don’t need to do it for that reason anymore. I am blogging for a different reason and that reason is not strong enough to maintain it. Not right now anyway.
So I quit. One day, the reason I blog will come back and so will I. But I thought I’d pop by again and read cos your post title intrigued me… and I’m glad I did because I know that’s where I’m at, and I thought I’d tell you cos it might… just might coincide with your reasons. It might make sense. I know you turned a corner. I feel it. So maybe the reason you started on this journey isn’t there anymore. For me, it means the journey came to an end. For you? Well, you are a much more gifted writer, with more to give and more to tell. Your songs are phenomenal and your writing is out of this world.

Anyway, that’s my two penn’eth. I’ll still come and read even if I don’t write, or comment! Keep at it. The world needs your writing!

PAPA August 18, 2009 at 5:00 pm

I totally get the whole quiet thing. there are days i just want to escape, not necessarily in a bad way, just be completely free…on a boat fishing, i don’t even have to be catching anything, just feeling the sunshine, the water, nature

maybe i need to go camping or something. 🙂

Louise August 18, 2009 at 5:01 pm

I hope you find the disconnection, but mostly, I hope you can live for now. Sometimes that’s all we have.

Jessica August 18, 2009 at 5:11 pm

you know i just adore you and only ask that you always keep in touch somehow and let me know you are okay.

jenrantsraves August 18, 2009 at 5:44 pm

I haven’t been writing either, and I’m not even sure I can write a post to explain why. If I had to put it into a sentence, I guess it would be “I turned 37 and now I’m having a midlife crisis”.

Also, wanted to say that your kids sound AWESOME, to be able to accept disappointment that easily. You already know that I think you’re AWESOME, so whenever you do feel like writing, you’ll find the words, and I’ll be reading.

the mama bird diaries August 18, 2009 at 8:13 pm

I’m sorry the move is delayed and you are feeling a bit broken. Nothing wrong with a little quiet.

Jenn @ Juggling Life August 18, 2009 at 8:40 pm

Your resiliency impresses the heck out of me. A big move like yours would have me to frazzled to write anything, let alone write eloquently. Hang in there.

flutter August 18, 2009 at 9:47 pm

I am proud of you.

JCK August 18, 2009 at 9:49 pm

It doesn’t matter how often you come here, because when you do…the beauty of your language and openess in sharing them, shine through.

Thinking good thoughts for you on the move. I hope it comes quickly, and then you will be able to be in the new place. Rather than one foot in each. It must be challenging.

Daryl August 19, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Louise is right .. try aiming for right now … and the song .. its awesome

fancy feet August 19, 2009 at 9:36 pm

God, what a gorgeous post! I so enjoy your writing. Even if you post few and far between I’ll be here, reading.

I hope everything works out with the move. I’m sorry it’s all over the place for you right now.

Emily R August 19, 2009 at 9:36 pm

We’ll be here when you want to come back to the noisy hallway

Indigo August 20, 2009 at 3:01 pm

I can so relate. I’ve had months of manic writing going on, only to have it slow to a crawl. Not exactly stuck, yet waiting for the prose to feed my muse in it’s own time.
I’m an email away if you ever need company in the quiet hallway. (Hugs)Indigo

david mcmahon August 21, 2009 at 12:47 am

Congratulations on reaching 300, Jennifer. We, your loyal readers, are the richer for your presence.

Cupcakes on their way, through DHL …..

Robynn's Ravings August 21, 2009 at 7:49 am

Found you through “The Post of the Day” at David McMahon’s and wanted to say congratulations!

And I guess they are in order as well for your 300th post. Huge accomplishment. Don’t know all the history here about the move but I love your take on words. No one realizes but a writer how much sculpting GOOD writing takes. Blessings to you!

Joanna Jenkins August 21, 2009 at 8:16 pm

Quiet, no matter where it is, can be paradise sometimes.
Hang in there.

Crystal Jigsaw August 22, 2009 at 2:13 am

A beautiful title and beautiful post. Hauntingly mysterious.

CJ xx

anymommy August 22, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Quiet, reflection, untangling, we all need it at times. Sit a while, I’ll be here when you are ready.

tysdaddy August 23, 2009 at 6:54 pm

I am down with quiet lately. Keep stringing the words together, my friend. You’re writing your life, and there’s no hurry . . .

Green Girl in Wisconsin August 23, 2009 at 7:51 pm

You just reflect and save your good words for your songs. I’m here ready to listen to the next one!
Bummer about the move, that’s got to be a difficult thing.

brian miller August 24, 2009 at 5:59 pm

enjoy your time in hallway…we all need those silent moments of reflection to bring new perspectives…may your word string again soon…brightly.

Tara Wermuth August 26, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Just getting caught up! First of all, LOVED Miles to Montana, everything about it! And this last post, I loved the metaphor. Sorry you are still in AZ, but it made for a great post! Can’t wait to see/read what’s next. Hang in there!

jessica December 2, 2009 at 10:09 pm

funny, the hallway, to me, is my limbo, a place I’ve been living for way too long. I hate it here. I want out and yet, I still can’t find a window or a door. I think I see one only to find it’s been painted shut or the bolt on the door refuses to slide open.

That’s life, I guess, how we can all see the same thing in different ways.

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