16 February 2011

Words Like Jacob

I haven't posted here in a while.

I don't tend to post when I'm fighting, when I feel like life is a series of fallings and failings, when I'm not quite sure how I am in the midst of it all.

Some people know, they just know, all the time, how they are and who they are and where God is, and I'm not one of them. I fumble for light, for truth and I question it all, because that's the way I'm made, to question and dig, deeper and deeper, until one day I hit the truth.

And I live in the moment, swept up by the feelings and the tasks and the people, when I don't know what they mean until sometime later, after I have the space to take a breath and look back on them, to connect the dots that I couldn't see when I was waking up each morning and taking steps (one, two, three).

Life to thoughts to words takes me longer than it does for some, and when I'm living it's hard to think and even harder to write, even though the writing makes it real. Words on paper - there's a fine line between forcing them and making space for them, between letting them have life and forcing it upon them. 

If Thomas Mann was right, that "a writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people," then I am a writer and this fumbling about with words is a grace. Writing is the way I follow Jacob, asking for blessing after a long night of wrestling, rolling around in the mud and the river wondering what it's all about.

Because I do wonder, in these times between words, if there's meaning in the struggle, if there's a point to it beyond getting soaking wet and so filthy I stink. Meaning is hard. Do we make it or find it? How do we know if we're imposing meaning or just finding the connections God left for us to see? 

But we must have it, we crave it, we would give up our very selves, some days, to find a coherent line we could follow. Meaning is a drug and we're all addicted, all trying to understand, especially when it feels like chaos. What, I wonder, do I give up to find meaning? And would it come to me if I waited, hands open and ready to receive? Or is the struggle part of what makes it special, part of what gives meaning its . . . um . . . meaning?





May you be blessed by the Imperfect Prose community, as I have been. 

9 comments:

Brian Miller said...

is there purpose to the struggle...yes i think there is...like birth, the pain before new life...

Karmen said...

Oh Sarah, my kindred spirit, Sarah. I so identify with you in looking for the meaning, the truth,and the struggle of it all. I struggle with the meaning of the words I write. Do they portray me accurately, are the strong enough, are they too strong, does anybody really even care other than me? Struggle, struggle, struggle, life is a struggle and when does the struggling end and who am I really struggling with?

kirsten michelle said...

Amen. And again I say: Amen.

Joelle said...

True, real. Grateful for your inner spaciousness to let the words sift through and find their way to us. Beautiful wisdom, Sarah. Keep writing, please. But I do understand there are times to simply live and not force the transcription, waiting for later. Just not too much later, eh? I know how we artist-folk can procrastinate!

emily wierenga said...

Writing is the way I follow Jacob, asking for blessing after a long night of wrestling, rolling around in the mud and the river wondering what it's all about.

yes. you are a writer. there is no doubt, friend. i've been missing you: i'm so glad you are finding time to connect the dots... i will pray.

Wandering On Purpose said...

I never thought about my writing my struggles and doubts and emotions as wrestling with God as Jacob did, but that describes things perfectly! Wow!

Laura said...

I am this same way, Sarah. You'll notice that there are sometimes gaps in my posting as well. Life sometimes takes all the attention, all the energy I have. Bless you and I pray you are finding peace.

Misty said...

"Life to thoughts to words takes me longer than it does for some, and when I'm living it's hard to think and even harder to write, even though the writing makes it real. Words on paper - there's a fine line between forcing them and making space for them, between letting them have life and forcing it upon them."

you commented on my page when i wrote that i, too, had been quiet, so the above is something i exactly relate to.
i do miss your words here, though.
i also understand these words.

pray you are well and connecting dots still, and always breathing grace.

Laura said...

Just thinking of you, sarah...