Friday, November 21, 2014
Close to the bone (Five-minute Friday)
I notice how my writing swings gentle on this pendulum between the beautiful, concrete observations of ordinary life and the beautiful, mystery-laden metaphors of life deep beneath the surface. And they overlap, of course, as life so often does, for rarely is the reflection of a bird or a walk by the lake only about what I experience with my senses, but also how it interacts with my spirit and the running script of life unfolding.
But then there are the deep, deep things that can seem so sterile written with words too direct or stark; that require a softer language, a looser grip of words bearing down on life. And the things I could not put into words to my satisfaction, even as a writer, because I am caught up in the midst of living them and they are far, far from finished.
These are secrets, I'm finding out. And secrets, in the purest kind of way, that are best kept without words, or few words, or words not for public consumption - at least for now.
Because I write life-in-process, instead of from a position of looking-back (at least, most of the time), when I'm struggling for words to write, it is often because of one or two things.
I am not paying attention.
I am processing things whose times are not yet for sharing in my writing.
This past week, I sat down several times to write and each time, came away with nothing but fragments and this nagging sense of unrest.
Hold onto these things, I heard. Wait. Press into the secret. Now is not the time.
And I squirmed a little, because, isn't this a huge part of why I write? To offer a glimpse into an unfinished story - an authentic story - where doubt and faith coexist? Where sorrow and hope grasp hands? Where the unknown is embraced?
Yes. But now is not the time for this story. The one that is "close to your bone" that you wonder if you ought to be sharing?
Let it be.
There may come a day, several years or more down the road, when I write this story, not in the throes of process, but from a safe enough distance. Because sometimes, I'm finding, a little distance is necessary. And good. Even for a writer like me.
So if you hang around here for awhile, you will still see that pendulum swing, with the rhythms and layers of life. And you may not hear anything some weeks, for this may be my way of taking notice of secret things and stepping out of the flow of blogging to give them space to become what they will.
Just as I am becoming.
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Linking up with Kate and the Five-minute Friday community of writers, to the prompt of "Notice."
I need to give some credit here to another dear writer, Sarah Bessey, whose status on Facebook yesterday put into words the things that had been unsettled in my heart this past week. Such beautiful words...
"Sometimes I wonder if, in our rush for authenticity, we have forgotten how beautiful it can be to keep secrets. Not the shameful kind but the "just for us" kind, I mean. I've purposely been practicing the spiritual discipline of secrecy for much of what is going on in my heart and spirit these past few months. At first it was so difficult and weird - is it real if you don't document it on Facebook or blog about it?! - but now I've relearned the truth that new life often comes forth in quiet, hidden, and sacred places. In the meantime, keeping secrets and holding more of our stories and evolutions, our victories or sorrows close to the bone suits just fine. Who knew, eh? As a writer or any kind of minister or artist perhaps, it's hard not to turn one's life into content or impose narrative on every moment. The discipline of keeping secrets is a good cure for simply letting it unfold for a while, without expectation of affirmation or criticism."