I used to write, a lot. In Dutch, in English, in various forms. I have notebooks half-full of daily thoughts and observations, there’s an anthology featuring my poetry, flash fiction and blogs in various places on the internet. Writing was a way to make sense of the world, both inside and around me. A way to quiet the chaos, if just for a moment. I like to think I stopped writing because I did not need it as much anymore and though that may have been at least partially true, in recent years I’ve found myself almost afraid of putting pen to paper. To take the time for observation, afraid of what I’d find when I’d stop and take look. I do not have a rational explanation for this, as these days my mind is by and large a pretty pleasant place to be.
This year has been weird to all of us in different ways. Beyond all the obvious awfulness – the heartbreak, the grief, the fraying of social norms, to name a few – time is moving differently this year. It skips and stops and caves in on itself. There are moments in March that feel closer to me than some days last week. If you presented me with a list of my days this year, I wouldn’t be able to put them in the right order. Endless monotony interspersed with brief bursts of anguish that is so nearly tediously repetitive itself. The months keep coming and they pass me by.
So here I am. Without any promises as to how often I’ll be here, with no idea how much of an audience I want. I do not want to be afraid and as much as this year sometimes feels like wasted time, I do not want it to pass me by unnoticed. I am here to anchor moments in time, to take note of the days, the years, feel them flow around me, with me, and notice we’re not so stagnant after all. I am here.