Hello and Happy New Year! It’s already half past January-where has time gone?
These past few days I’ve reflected on 2013, as no doubt many of you have done. Last year reads for me rather like a few pages from a novel of self-discovery. I began 2013 starved for music, words and vision. I was bare bones, unaware that I lacked nerves and sinews. My journal was full of vague prayers.
For someone who tends to live in anywhere but the present, becoming aware of my current state was a painful business. But I did begin to see at last that I had been running from too much, maybe everything, and definitely from feeling too much. When you try to shrug off both inner and outer realities, you’re left with a shell. And that shell, sooner or later, will crumble.
With crumbling came blunt cries. I began pouring my heart out in my journal again, no longer vague and elusive, but sharply etched into the page. I looked at my giants and saw giants instead of acting like they were merely over-sized tyrants. My bones rattled and dust was unsettled. Then came the wind.
“Writing is my Bethel, and I no more conjure God than Jacob did,” I wrote.
I discovered an almost universal truth about writing: no matter what plane my head may be on, writing forces me to bring out what is living in an almost concrete way. Windows and what else? Writing captures the fleeting, however imperfectly. It may feel concrete, but it’s still so hard for me to explain! Does it make any sense?
“Will I ever be able to accept, revel in gifts, then let them go as they pass?”
The answer is yes. When a tiny form appeared on the screen, I was able to know joy and anticipation.
That joy and anticipation was not invalid when that little form never fluttered with life.
With the pain of that passing, life still went on.
My Author never left me. I see one page. He knows the story front to back. He keeps sewing flesh on His children, making them more alive, more fully into His image.
That was a part of last year. This year, I remembered a picture that came to me years before I recognized it as a story. I was sitting at a table, trying to keep little pieces of gems and stones together. They kept rolling off the table and bouncing away. I was so busy trying to round the little rebels up, grabbing them from the floor and snatching at the ones that rolled off the table, that I didn’t see him. To the one who calmed seas, how hard can a few pieces of stone be? Finally I had to sit still and look up. With one adept movement, he arranged all pieces onto the table. To my surprise they formed a beautiful pattern.
Life will thrill and pierce me. But nerves were made to feel. This year, I don’t have to shrink from pain or pleasure, because none of it is wasted. Every bit has meaning, and it is being arranged by expert hands into a beautiful design. When I’m full of plans and ideas, he’s there, directing my scattered bits of dreams into a higher design than I could imagine. When pain and confusion cloud my eyes, I hope I won’t forget who is sitting across the table from me, waiting to calm my seas and show me the beauty in the midst of pain.
I will look life square in the eye, and arm myself with pen and paper. I’m still learning what to say and how to say it. But I have my picture for the year. And the story is so much bigger than I am.
I’ve never been more convinced that life is an adventure worth living.
Do you have a picture for this year? How did last year shape your thoughts or perspectives about 2014? And can you better explain writing as a medium, a window?