Archive for January, 2011

Daily Surrender

My life, as the masthead of this blog suggests, is made of pages. Ten years ago those pages were full of poetry, recorded dreams, prayers, and longings for the concrete forms of life–marriage, career, children–in which to pour my passions. To my joy (and endless wonder), those longings have been satisfied. As a consequence, naturally enough, the purposes and forms of my writing changed. The equation used to be TIME + DREAMS + READING ( PRAYER ) = POEMS. Now it’s TIME + GRAMMAR + REVISION ( PRAYER ) = MONEY. It’s not a bad change–especially since something deep within assures me there will one day be a return to poems and the making of books.

The one kind of writing that’s remained a constant is journaling. Opening up a blank, unlined book and pushing, pushing, pushing the pen across the page. This simple act of forming words–any words–never fails to bring me into contact with my truest self and with, these days, an amazingly patient and creative God.

I haven’t published a poem or a book in almost five years. Yet I know I am growing as a writer. Why? Because my goals for my writing, and living, have slowly changed from desiring beauty and fame to desiring more simply to be of use.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” Marriage, mothering, teaching, moves, friendships, community formings, community breakings, health difficulties and discoveries: all these concrete happenings, added to and multiplied by page after page of written reflection (and rebellion!) have brought me to the place where I can say I know what Dr. King is talking about here, and I know that he’s right.

On my best days I decide to walk in the light.


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