Karen Swim

Writer, Marketer, Woman of Purpose

Joyful Flights and Soft Landings

For a time I lost my voice, not the physical one for that would have been less painful, but my writing voice. Fingers stilled, words no longer bubbled to the surface begging to flow onto the page. This was no ordinary writers block but a crisis tantamount to the loss of a vocal cord. It was an obstruction that would require more than the usual tricks of the trade.

Initially I welcomed the silence as one does when ordered to a day of voice rest. I needed the time to be still, to quiet the noise that not only surrounded me but had permeated my being. But the silence stretched on and my voice went from a tired croak to a soft whisper to nothing at all. While my voice was silent my world and head were filled with the haunting voices of others. No matter how hard I tried to push them down, they rose angrily to the surface like ugly ghosts clawing at me with skeletal fingers in the graveyard of disillusion. I ran from the page to escape their grip desperate to once again reach the welcoming light of day. I was afraid to venture back into the catacombs to find my voice so I stayed in the safety of daylight comfortably ensconced on a bench watching the words of others go by.

Then one day a floodgate of emotion arose like a tsunami sweeping away the locks and chains that held me captive. Its force propelled me into mid-air light with reckless abandon. In flight I did not open the parachute of perfection, not caring if I landed in an undignified heap on the rapidly approaching concrete. Broken bones, bruised ego and a hard landing would be far better than the prison of silence to which I had been confined.

Words tumbled out propelling me through my flight of fancy. Certain I would crash at the bottom, fear mixed with the heady excitement of freedom. I cascaded through raw emotions strung together into sentences, unpolished, uninhibited, toward my fate. Vulnerable, unequipped I stretched my fingers quickening my flight. Near the bottom, I squeezed my eyes preparing for the final fall, willing to accept a hard landing that would leave a permanent stain of failure that would seep into the grout and crevices of my legacy. But I did not go splat. Inches from the ground I was safely gathered in a net woven by caring souls who had witnessed my fall and cushioned by landing with their gentle words of encouragement.

Giddy with the thrill of adventure I bounced upon their gentle net before I climbed safely down. I looked up and shouted with my newly recovered voice, giving thanks for my freedom and for good friends who stood by when I was silent and cushioned me when I dared to once again take flight.

Special thanks to Joanna Paterson, Lillie Ammann, and Crieg Bryan for cushioning my landing.

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August 16, 2011 - Posted by | Personal Essay

4 Comments »

  1. Karen,

    Your words are poetry. I’m so glad they are flowing again!

    Comment by Lillie Ammann | August 16, 2011 | Reply

    • Lillie, I am counting my blessings, thank you!

      Comment by karenswim | August 17, 2011 | Reply

  2. You are some cookie!

    I love that you’re shouting by the end x me too, with delight

    Comment by Joanna Paterson | August 17, 2011 | Reply

    • With a little help from my friends. 🙂

      Comment by karenswim | August 17, 2011 | Reply


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