23 February 2009

I'm in a weird place right now.

For the first time in ages, writing isn't so urgent to me. I first wrote that it isn't so important to me, but that's not true. It's important to me that I write, to make sense of my world through words, and that I put those words on paper. Writing helps me stop and focus long enough on something that I can meditate on it and figure out what's going on in my heart and what I want to do in response to that.

I guess I could say that publication isn't so urgent for me, either. It's still a goal, still out there as something that I am pursuing and will continue to pursue, but I've realized that I'll still have a life I like even if I never have a novel published. Even if I'm not good enough, don't have enough time, find that I hate the whole process, God has given me a life that I want to live. There's nothing to prove, nothing to win, no value that I have or don't have based on whether or not someone likes what I write enough to put it in book form.

And most days, I believe that.

Writing is a particular instance of something I'm trying to do on a much greater basis right now. It's all part of my meditations on "enough."

I've spent so much time living in the future--hoping for things, thinking about how much better my life would be if I had more, if things were different, if I were more important, had a wider audience, could say the things that I think matter to people who could actually change. I've wanted to be chosen, gifted, talented, recognized, wanted, valued, and respected in ways that aren't present in my current life, and so I've looked to the future as not only the place where I get all those things, but as the place where I am finally living, finally someone of value, finally someone who matters.

That's all a load of crap.

The truth is that I tend to think that I'm not living the life I would have chosen if I'd been given a cafeteria and been able to pick and choose every element, but I don't know that. Maybe I did stand in that cafeteria with God, one day, looking at the possibilities and choosing which ones represented what I really wanted my life to be about. And even if that didn't happen, this is the life God has given me: this apartment, this job, this husband, these friends. There has to be value in living this life, in making choices in this context, and not just trying to get out of it and into one that I like better.

It's hard to be normal. It's harder than I'd ever thought. I thought normal was what happened when you didn't try to do anything else. But normal is it's own version of special, with it's own struggles, hardships, joys and graces. Sometimes, I'm ashamed to be normal, ashamed that I haven't made myself into something more or that I haven't been specially asked to do something important and out-of-the-ordinary. But I fight that shame because it's also a bunch of crap.

I also don't feel so much of a need to talk about my life. I live it, and I try to love it. It's not that I don't want all of you to know what's going on with me, but more that I'm spending more time living and less time sorting it all out into blog-length bits. Overall, I think that's a good thing, though I miss being around here more. And it means that my posts (like this one) are a little more garbled than I'm used to, because I haven't put them together like I used to. But it feels good to focus on living on not on thinking. Don't get me wrong...I still think, and I think thinking is good. But I think I've thought myself into a corner in some areas and I want to get out of those. And I'm willing to be an infrequent blogger who writes disconnected posts if that's what it takes!

04 February 2009

Life is not all about forward motion

Manna, meat,
and the stuffed,
astonished faces
of Israel.
Bread of heaven
sustaining always,
if need be.
Does that mean
we'll be here
forever?

Stuck in a
darkish place.
I close my eyes and see
more dark.
Hidden behind
enveloping hands,
so close I could touch
if only I could see.

Solace and
loneliness,
so close, in the
dark and silent night.
More manna
makes sense
or is the answer
in the wandering?