Virginia Woolf once wrote that a “placeless person is a silenced person.”
In her essay, “A Room of One’s Own,” Woolf admonishes us to find a space in this big crazy world, claim it, and return to it. This will help us find ourselves. This will help give us a voice, or give us back our voice if we have—for some reason—lost it.
Originally Woolf meant this piece to call forth women writers who were awash in a patriarchal industry. Her message was: let’s find our place—both literally and figuratively—and in doing so, discover our voices.
I love all this as it applies to you and me today. Our meditation, therefore, is to consider if we have a place of our own where we can go and connect or reconnect with ourselves.
Do we have a place that we can settle into and listen to our own thoughts? Do we have a place where our deepest feelings can bubble up? Do we have a place where we can hear our own voice? Where our creativity resides. Where our true self is nourished. Where we can be absolutely real.
For some of you, this place is a familiar corner in a coffee shop. A certain cropping of rocks at the beach. Your bed. An old desk. For some of you it’s a long stretch of pavement where you ride your bike or run.
Many of you don’t know where this place is. That’s OK. I’m just telling you to start thinking about it. Where could you go to be with yourself? Where could you go to alleviate the ways in which you’ve been silenced?
This will be exciting to some of you: Why not commandeer an area in your house—even 5 square feet—and create a magical moment right there in your own home. Infuse that little spot with all things inspiring to you. Sharpie extra fine tip markers in all colors. Twine. A huge roll of kraft paper. A candle. A soft place to land. A book of prayers or poetry. Manilla tags. Sour gummy bears. Sparkling water. A few turquoise felt flowers strewn here and there. The Elizabeth soundtrack’s “Nimrod” on repeat. A blanket. I could go on and on . . .
Make yourself a nook in this world. Make yourself a place. Return to that place as you would an altar, a shrine. A place to commemorate, record, resolve, hash out. A place to hear your own voice once again or for the first time. And in that way, a place where you just might find a bit of God.
Do tell . . . Where is your place? What’s there? Why is it meaningful to you? Or, what is your resistance to creating a space like this for yourself? How has being “placeless” silenced you?