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  • Mer Monson

Writing: the living edge of coming back home to myself

I feel the pull, in my late forties, to become less versions of myself. I am ready to stop doing and saying things that feel like pretending, to lay aside constraints that don’t feel right anymore and give myself room to breathe, room to come back home to my own skin and my own knowing. This is not a journey for the faint of heart. It is messy and sometimes downright terrifying to disentangle from everyone else’s knowing of who I should be and how I should show up in the world. And so I write.

Writing, for me, is the living edge of coming back home to myself. It helps me fill up the space I take up in the world. It invites me into fuller presence with any piece of life I pick up on the page. It is a way to let myself be human, a cliff jump into the wild asking what wants to be said. It is a treasure hunt into all the buried parts of me, the ones I decided somewhere along the way didn’t belong. Reading others' words has shown me I am not the only woman becoming a real grown up, but my own words on the page are where I encounter the raw, untamed heart of me. And I gotta tell ya, it’s gorgeous.

This is why I keep showing up to writing class each week. It's a sacred circle of people who are learning to unedit themselves. Something exquisite happens as I explore the question over and over again; can I really be an unsanitized version of myself and still be ok? The answer is always yes, and the less I try to shape and grip what comes out on the page, the more gripping and impactful the words become.

That’s why, when I was asked to contribute to the book Stories from the Muses, I could not say no. I'm not gonna lie, I'm amusingly terrified, but I know it's time to cross the threshold and let the world have a peek into what’s coming out of me.

Oh, and cool news, all proceeds from the book will be used to help other writers who have a strong story to share but can't afford to publish. The book is an anthology by 14 authors (including me :) who write from archetypal muse energies. Their flavor is unique to each of us, but we all have a child, maiden, mother, seductress, huntress, crone and medusa (or their male counterparts) within us. They are the psychic building blocks of our universal human experience, and writing from them is the ride of a lifetime.

For me, it was a deep dive into what’s living me beneath the surface. These five pieces came from down under, far beyond my good ideas, my carefully crafted story or my self-righteous soapbox. Each muse showed up with things to say and their own words to say it with. My huntress muse explored living with chronic pain. My seductress muse spoke about losing shame for my body. My crone dove into the heart of that wise old woman in my bones. Each piece was a reclaiming and an allowing, and I've come out a much more alive Mer on the other side.

If you'd like to read one of my pieces for free, listen to interviews, watch a 2-minute compilation poem read by all the authors, or buy the book...

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