"Well, I'm back."
Those are the words of Samwise Gamgee when he returns from the Grey Havens, and Sam's words end the great novel of J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, and they are the words which come to me now, sitting down at my computer to write after a too-long time away. Well. I'm back.
I haven't walked to the Havens, nor halfway across Middle-Earth, but I'm weary. I've been working on hard things for the past month, and that makes me weary. I've had long stretches when I couldn't work at all, and that makes me a different kind of weary, weary and frustrated. I've been muddling through conflicts with my family, and that's different again, making me sad and scared and weary of uncertainty. I'm bored with the season, bored from a lack of color in the world and a lack of new things to see or do, and that creates yet another kind of weariness.
It's not all bad news here. A lot of the hard work I've done was necessary to assemble my application for seminary, which is now submitted and in the process of evaluation. In the way that hard times can make for good change, I'm using conflict as an impetus to edit my life in specific, important ways. I'm looking for new things to try, or at least I'm just leaving the house more, to escape the gloom of late-winter blahs.
Not many pages before the end of Tolkien's book, Frodo Baggins tells Sam some other words which pierce me now: "You cannot always be torn in two. You will have to be one and whole, for many years. You have so much to enjoy and to be, and to do."
I feel like I've been torn for too long, pulled by too many conflicting responsibilities and guilts, and that makes me the most tired of all. I can't be torn in two anymore. I wish to be one and whole, to stop being pulled in too many directions, to focus and make progress on what I choose, to build my own career and my own life.
I'm back. I'm back at my desk, back at my keyboard, back assembling words and carving ideas into new shapes. I've been distracted, I've been frustrated, I'm still swamped in uncertainty, but I'm here.