Hiatus, Lacuna, a Break

“Egg Shell” by Petr Kratochvil

My first blog title was “This Messy Life,” an acknowledgement of — and tribute to — small grace inside a tumbled day. Life hasn’t let me down.

In the last three-plus years, I’ve strung words through everyday disruptions — car repairs and children’s colds, wild pets and homeschool hills and self-replicating laundry piles. Sometimes, rejection letters came in triplicate, or worse, but there were always bright rays of acceptance too, in all its varied forms. Foster kittens came and went (and climbed and clawed), until the last three stayed for good. A bad concussion stole a year. Through it all, the dog stole socks. He’s good at that, and merry.

Ups and downs. This messy life. It’s what we all go through, between, around and over.

Sometimes, it gets harder.

hiatus: a break, a gap, an interruption or suspension

I haven’t written in awhile. I’m not inventing tales or stitching up the seams of essays. I’ve got no wayward characters in my head. No voices, lilting.

lacuna: a pit, an empty place, something unfilled or blank or missing

In a true bit (or bite) of irony, just after publishing an essay on how I learned to manage motherhood and writing, the motherhood got more intense, demanding. Right now, my daughters need more Mom — more in scope and time, more in challenge and inventiveness. There isn’t any me left over for the spill and catch of words.

break (noun): an interlude or intermission, a hitch or lapse, an open space or breach

break (verb): to fracture, fragment, impair or injure; to hesitate or interrupt — but also to change, decrypt, decipher, as with codes — and then there’s the breaking of a dawn, engendered.

On my worst days, I wonder why I ever started writing, if it just ends up like this. On my better days, I try to be less black-or-white, less absolute, less humorless and bleak. My latest piece for Hippocampus touches on the struggle, the ebb and flow of writing:

 “For a myriad of reasons, sometimes we are writers on the other side of words. We are mired in low tides, gasping. . . . for all the years I’ve tried, there is no perfect balance, no deft juggling move that leaves me mistress of all realms. Instead, I dog-paddle through a shifting mercury of roles. Sometimes, I have to put the pen aside. This is never easy, never smooth.”

I hope you’ll join me there for the rest of my essay on writing tides and lessons learned from seabirds. As for this space, it may be quiet for awhile. In hiatus, a lacuna, a break and somewhat broken, in every varied sense.


12 thoughts on “Hiatus, Lacuna, a Break

  1. Enjoy the Mom break, Lisa. I can tell you that those intense Mom years (and I took a break from writing during those times, too) were the best years ever. Writing will always be there. xoxo Julia

  2. I shall miss your tales of quirk and wonder. I don’t know how I found you, but your writing here has been a source of both inspiration and delight. It is the time when bears and beavers and all those wise animals go into hibernation. May your hiatus, lacuna, break provide deep rest, in preparation for all the seasons to come.

  3. Lisa, your words remain an inspiration to me, a true gift. There is a time for all things and motherhood is calling. Your presence will be missed but you are doing the right thing for your family. Much love and support xoxox

  4. Lisa, this piece made me sad and mindful of life’s wendings. There is a time, a season…

  5. Lisa – you and the girls are in my thoughts. While I will certainly miss your words, during this time of low tide, it is their well-being that is critical. Motherhood comes first. As you so eloquently wrote in this piece, the tide will eventually turn and life will be filled again with “darting, sun-sparked fish” and the pen will find its way into your hand.

  6. Please don’t ever wonder why you started writing. You started writing because you have a rare gift — it’s evident in this beautifully rendered post. Your word choices, the cadence, the imagery … it’s all a sensory feast for your readers. And while we’ll miss you terribly, I have a feeling you may need to sneak in a sentence here and there, even in the midst of Mom time! It’s part of your DNA, Lisa. Writing is as much a part of you as being a mom, I suspect.

  7. I love what Melissa said. A break doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have started. You’ll be back! Life comes first. I admire you for doing what has to be done. I know there will be times I have to do the same. In some ways I already made that choice. I write much less than I did before. I’m sort up to my eyeballs in kid stuff. None of it bad… Just all emcompassing.

    We will be here when you’re ready again!

  8. I totally, totally get it. You are doing what is right for you and your family at this time and that’s most important. Writing will always be there when you need it and so will we. Take your time but hurry back. 🙂

  9. Lisa, this is beautiful. And, while the greater writing world will miss you while you’re on hiatus, we’ll look forward to your return, because you have something true and important there to write and share. Thank you and Godspeed for the time to come.

  10. Oh this rings so true! I wrote on my blog that I wanted to post more regularly and the life tackled me down. Total fumble!

    I will eagerly wait your return and will think of you as you care for your little ones. What work is more meaningful than that?

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