Welcome to This is the Refrain.
Refrain (n.) – A phrase or line repeated at intervals within a poem, especially at the end of a stanza. (Poetry Foundation)
Refrain (n.) – late 14c., from Old French refrain “chorus” (13c.), alteration of refrait, noun use of past participle of refraindre “repeat,” also “break off,” from Vulgar Latin*refrangere “break off,” alteration of Latin refringere “break up, break open” (see refraction) by influence of frangere “to break.” Influenced in French by cognate Provençal refranhar “singing of birds, refrain.” The notion is of something that causes a song to “break off” then resume. OED says not common before 19c. (Online Etymology Dictionary)
To break up, break open. A repetition. To stop, reflect, and begin again.
A refrain is the thing the grounds us in a poem or song. It’s the moment we know all the words. It can be a comfort. It can be a return. It can be jarring and uncomfortable.
The singing of birds. I don’t know what to say about that, but it’s beautiful.
You might know me as Lu or Leslie, blogger at Regular Rumination. A long time ago, I lost what made blogging and writing about books great. There was a fire that had gone out. For a while, I kept up appearances. But between moving, getting married, moving again, blogging and reading took a backseat to the rest of everything. Unlike the other times this happened, I found it difficult to return to Regular Rumination when things settled down. In many ways, it just felt like a relic from a different time in my life, one that hadn’t grown with me.
I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not to give it one more chance or just start fresh, and it’s pretty clear what I’ve chosen. It’s time to find a blog that fits this version of me.
Here’s what I know: something is missing and I intend to find it. “This is the Refrain” came from the idea of getting back to the core of why I started writing about books to begin with: a love, not just of words and books, but of story. Regular Rumination was never supposed to be a book blog, though that’s what it became.
I don’t know what This is the Refrain is yet. I’m not giving it any labels. But there are four things that I feel are missing from my current day to day that I would like to find again:
Creativity, curiosity, spark, practice.
Creativity: Can I tell you a secret? I found wedding planning to, mostly, be a joy. It was such a fulfilling outlet for my creativity and now that it’s three months past, I’ve had a hard time filling that gap. I hope to not only have a creative outlet in This is the Refrain, but also to explore new ones.
Curiosity: It’s easy for me to fall into cynicism, to feel like I’ve seen it all. I’m trying to break that habit. I want to explore, to ask questions, to recognize that I don’t know it all. I need to ask for advice. I’m working on it.
Spark: I’m going to be honest. In first drafts of this post, spark just spoke to me as one of the four, but I’m struggling a little bit to decide what it means. I’ve tried substituting other words, tried to get to the root at what I was getting at, but nothing sounds quite as good as spark and the poet in me is inclined to go with my word-choice gut. Maybe it’s not ignoring the flash-in-the-pan, lightning moments of inspiration that take a little care to ignite. Maybe it’s sparking life and light back into my writing, art, and reading. Maybe it’s a place holder for now.
Practice: The other three are useless if there isn’t also practice. This is a lesson I know logically, but one I need to learn practically. Here I am, ready to learn.
But beyond art and story and reading and writing, I’ve missed the connections that I made through Regular Rumination. I know it’s not going to be the same, but I hope that we can connect again.
Welcome to This is the Refrain. I’m happy you’re here.