Late June’s recurrent holding pattern

You know the old adage, “mum’s the word?”

Well, not only has mum been the word lately at Mama’s Empty Nest, but Mum has been fairly mum herself as well.

Definition of mum:  (adj) silent, not saying a word.   The origin of the word possibly came from “mmm,” the humming sound we humans make with our mouths closed, which indicates either unwillingness or an inability to speak.

Shakespeare used the word in Henry VI when he wrote:   “Seal up your lips and give no words but mum.”

In other words, keep quiet, say nothing, shut your trap.  The saying “mum’s the word” worked its way into our language as a means to advise another person to not reveal what he knows about something, to keep a secret, or stay quiet on the subject.

If you regularly follow my blog, you’ve probably noticed I’ve been awfully mum in the last week or two.  Throwing in some synonyms for the word  – mute, speechless, uncommunicative, wordless – adequately describes me right now.  And I know it!

I can’t admit that I’ve been quiet because I know something I shouldn’t reveal because that’s not it.  I don’t know a secret about anything!  So I honestly have no clue why I’ve been so uncommunicative (which is very unlike me anyway).

Should I blame my wordless state on busy-ness?  No,  I cannot.  No more busy days than usual.  Oh, there has been a little wedding planning (two more to go), some strawberry picking and freezer jam making sessions, a bit of cleaning and household chores here and there in between my hours at my job, but nothing that demands my full attention.

Even my computer sits idle.  I check my email occasionally and then shut off the distraction.   Logging in to Facebook has become a rarity because I see those words asking me to declare what’s on my mind, and I’ve got…nothing, no status updates, nothing interesting to say.

If I do fire up my laptop, I sit and stare at the blank screen and I am…. speechless.  Wordless.  I feel like I have nothing to impart, even though my notebook of blog ideas paints  an entirely different picture.  I just don’t feel like saying it or writing it or even thinking about the ideas long enough to put a sentence together.

It’s like I have a disorder – a non-communication complaint, summer speechlessness, or author’s apathy.  I can’t decide whether it’s just writer’s block or summer’s siren song of idleness.

In my younger days, I could be quite the talker, making chit-chat and small talk to fill any awkward silences.  But as I’ve aged, I’ve become more of a listener than a talker.  And honestly, sometimes I really have nothing to say.  Absolutely nothing.

This speechless state has woven its way, spreading like runners of ivy, into my writing.  I don’t want to bore my readers with just any old words.  I won’t publish a blog merely for the sake of publishing every day….or two…or 12.  If I have something worth writing, it also needs to be something worth reading.  And alas, I feel no compulsion to write.   And so I’ve been mum.

I hope I haven’t been disappointing, but I fear I may have been just that for those of you who log into this blog each day expecting some new post from me.   Bear with me, my faithful readers, I’ll get my words back.

For now, in my book I call Opportunity, my deck and the coolness of the evening after a warm summer day (yes, cooler weather came back for awhile) are calling out enticing me.

My softly cushioned patio chair whispers, “Come hither.  Come rest and bask in the quietness of a country evening.  Inhale the scent of freshly mowed grass and savory strawberries, plucked from the garden.  Listen to the birds warbling their sing-song melodies.  Feel the gentle breeze as it ruffles your hair.  Gaze westward and witness another spectacular sunset.   Evenings like this won’t last for long.  Maybe tomorrow you will find your words.”

[Blogger’s Note: I actually wrote this in late June last year and because I am yet again in this predicament of having no motivation or inclination to write anything new and feeling quite mum, I decided to reblog this post.    What surprises me is this seems to be a recurring theme around the last week or so of June.  Hmmm…..summer doldrums, summer sunstroke addles my brain, summer makes me mute??   What do you think?]

Copyright  ©2012


12 responses

  1. Do not despair Mama… I think we all go through repetitive cycles of one kind or another, all the way through life. Dry spells for writers? We’ve heard about those. And the seasons make changes in more ways than we know. I’m glad you re-blogged your last June’s post. It means you are thinking of coming back to your words, and that means you will! And that will inspire us all.


  2. Don’t worry mama, it’s a passing phase due to lack of ice cream sundaes. Hot fudge is the answer, with nuts and a cherry on top. 🙂


  3. Mama, loved reading this. I feel the EXACT same way! I also felt as if my blog writing had changed and developed after a couple of years, and I was waiting for different subject matter or something. Summer as a time of incubation perhaps! R and r, then in the fall we’ll be inspired yet again! xxoo


    • Oh my friend, we’re in the same boat…adrift I guess. 😉 I’ve been wondering where you’ve been. Maybe some R and R is exactly what we need, but I’m not going to get too much of that with 2 more weddings to go this year. I miss you so hope you (and I) get inspired soon.


  4. Mama’s, I think you are so wise to stop and listen. Not many people do that. I think what you’ve described is a positive thing, even if you did call it apathy. 🙂 It’s not. I don’t think so, anyway. And I’m not surprised that this feeling of “mum”ness has come upon you at the same time it did last year.

    With my kids, whenever there is a change in season, they seem to really take that in, even if they don’t fully understand how seasons change yet. It’s just something I’ve noticed. Their behavior changes when the seasons do. I suspect they are the wise ones, as their little bodies haven’t developed the protective filters yet that say those feelings are silly. The shifting from one environment to another simply must affect us, as you so beautifully put it.

    I think perhaps too many of us are just too busy “updating” our lives that we miss out on these cues right from our own bodies. I am glad to hear you’ve been quiet! 🙂 It creates a more balanced picture, don’t you think? Sometimes you just feel what you feel and there’s no reason for it. Or the reason is one we adults cannot easily understand. I take a lot of cues from my children, their moods, their expressions — as so often they reflect just what I am feeling but didn’t know I was feeling.

    Plus, you’ve just been through a wedding! 🙂 With more on the horizon. Whenever I have a huge life event like that, I need down-time afterwards. Time to be quiet. Let my body, mind and soul readjust. Things went very well with my son’s surgery, as you know, but it was one of the “louder” times of life. Hospitals, nervousness, sledgehammers, family visiting, recovery — and then a week or so later — I realized I just wanted to be quiet. I wasn’t sad or lonely or tired or anything unusual, it was just that I wanted quiet. In fact, I could use some quiet right now! Which is one reason I’m going on Summer Vacation from blogging (but of course I had to drop by first!).

    You are a wonderful writer, and your Book of Opportunity will continue to inspire us.


    • Melissa, there’s a reason why our paths crossed through blogging. We ‘get’ each other! Thank you so very much for your affirming thoughts and words. You pegged it exactly and confirmed what I was feeling as natural and…well…good! I read your comment and thought how wise you are to have figured out the tempos of our lives, especially that of your little ones. I believe the world tells us we don’t need time to be still and quiet, but our souls tell us differently. I pray heaps of blessings on your summer vacation from blogging with loads of memory-making days with your family. You are a gem and a lovely friend! Thanks again!!


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