I went for a walk this morning because it was so pretty outside and I realized that we don't have many mornings like that left. As I walked, I felt like everything was a story. I know that sounds impossibly cheesy - I can't actually believe I wrote it - but it's kind of true. I found myself at each turn writing what was going on around me - putting it into words over and over until I finally found a way I liked. It was a nearly unconscious process; but then suddenly, I realized what I was doing, and I realized that this has become a part of the way I think. I've been writing on airplanes, and in airport terminals; while driving, walking, riding, talking, listening, observing, sitting, standing. On the elliptical and at family gatherings. I want to describe Christmas lights, and the bells of the church across the street from my house. People are stories to be told; words are like those tiny pieces of glass that people who are crazy talented use to make those incredibly intricate mosaics.
I've never really felt like a writer until this morning. And it was there, on Gaylord Street, Annie Lennox on my iPod, that the smells of Christmas candles and omelets and coffee and dog poo made me suddenly want to write a story about what it was like to walk down Gaylord St., listening to Annie Lennox, smelling candles and omelets and coffee and yes, even dog poo. It's poetry, people, I'm telling you...
Part of me wonders why now; but then another part of me tells that part of me to shut it and just enjoy it. Now don't get me wrong - I have a LONG way to go and a lot more to learn about writing and living and loving and the like. I'm nowhere near finished. But I'm starting to feel awake, and I don't think I've always been. I wouldn't call it happy - although it makes me that way, sometimes - because that's not what it is. Openness to feeling runs the whole gamut; which has to include pain and grief and suffering. No, it's not happiness - it's freedom to live authentically, I think. I will be vulnerable because it is far less scary than it is not to be. I care what you people think - I don't know that I can get rid of that entirely. I am, however, less worried about the inevitable catastrophe that is rejection, because really, it's ok. I'll be ok. And the truth is I'm better when I'm not worrying than when I am. Some people like me and (GASP) some people won't. I don't think I've ever been ok with that before in my whole tiny life. I may never craft a poem as eloquently as e.e. cummings, and maybe the only people who will ever read what I write will be my 15ish followers (most of whom are in my immediate family). But it doesn't matter, because I am a writer, and I will write because I love it and I am free to do so. TAKE THAT!
Why now? I don't know. I didn't ask for it. But I do know this: "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will." [Romans 8:26-27]
I didn't know what I needed. I hadn't a clue that this was what I longed for.