My relationship with writing borders on passionate dysfunction.
I think about it more than most anything else.
Thoughts free range in my mind’s back forty and form writing prompts and opening sentences from before I wake until after I’m asleep. In case you’re counting, that’s every hour of every day.
Ideas have married phrases and made vows to become fruitful and multiply.
I wake up in the middle of the night and new questions answer interred conclusions. The grocery, shower, teacher conferences, communion are all sacred breeding grounds. My son has been impersonating an officer and under arresting people. If I were under arrested tomorrow, there’d be a fresh baby phrase whining for propagation before the ink on the ticket was dry.
It’s constant, and even if I were able to capture the mirages and slam them on paper, the progression of the ideas disappear like snow in a rainstorm. The writing is frustrating and flawed and I’m perpetually looking for my process and my voice.
I hear clearly the beat of my heart and know the direction I’m following, but it’s the kind of knowing that digs heels into my shoulder blades. The Voice ahead is clearly calling me out on the water. I recognize my voice inside as my shoulders ache, but when it comes to finding my written voice , I’m like a horse being spurred at full speed with blinders for shades. And the metaphors? They’re like talking trolls of tomfoolishness.
There’s a possibility of more flexibility in my schedule soon, an exciting and terrorizing, thought. Because, well, you know….my excuses for not following the voiceless words might be all bogus and everything.
So I sit with tears of fear backed up to my ears. Damned by a clenched jaw and back-washed into an angry undertow in my chest.
Who I am is just in front of me and she’s an aphasiac surrounded by opaque words.
She’s full of adventure and mystery. Someone completely other than the fearful chattering woman I know so well. But, who I’ve been is still at the reins and there are times that she seems to be at complete odds with who I’m becoming.
I know that in the end, the new words, new vision, new direction will win. When you’ve glimpsed adventure and felt freedom and tasted truth, you can’t go back to locked down lies of convention.
I’m talking about true Truth. Truth minus illusion or pretense or filters. Truth minus precursor or qualification. Truth that rescues.
I’m talking about Truth that floods when it no longer matters what anyone else thinks.
I’m talking about the kind of story that begs to be told and retold until your children recite it by heart.
I’m talking about the kind of story that will drop jaws and change hearts if it’s told at the right time. The kind of story that defies propriety, whatever that is. The kind of story that glitters and sparkles hope all over everyone.
When you’ve been heartsick and found that your heart is terminally sick and you’ve grabbed the fringe of a garment that heals with a hangnail. When you’ve grabbed His garment? You find that a hangnail’s strength of faith is always strong enough. That a mere glimpse of the Father is all you need to be OK in this miserable life.
You know that if you have to walk the rest of your life through dense fog to have the opportunity, maybe, to once again touch a piece of that thread, that a whole lifetime with a catch on the end of your finger will be worth it.
So there’s really no choice but to keep walking, in the dark, with frustrated fear and constant opportunity for face falling. Because backward isn’t an option and staying in the same place isn’t an option. The only option is full speed ahead, eyes closed, head back, fierce wind, pelting rain, glaring sun, biting snow.
And so it goes this delirious love affair with words.