For the next few days…maybe weeks, I am going to re-visit and re-post some of the articles that I first wrote almost two years ago. When I began writing my blog I was in a very “different place” figuratively and literally than I am now. Several months ago I removed many of my earlier writings because like all living things do, I had grown and changed and the words did not necessarily speak for who I was or where I was anymore. In trying to move on I did a form of “house-cleaning”, and I made private my earlier writings until I could read them through to see if they represented who I was and who I wanted to represent. The articles that originally appeared have been modified (some barely, others thoroughly). I am not interested in keeping a journal of mistakes and memories. I do not care to cling to hurts. I would rather explain how I got to the present and explore the future…so I hope that you will read and enjoy my revised writings. Peace.
First published in its original version January 2011. Revised November 2012.
A thought out of nowhere, connected to nothing…it flashes in a burst of brilliance straight into my unsuspecting mind….A thought, that in the moment, seems so profound that I know without a doubt that it will sear itself permanently into my brain… A thought so wonderful and life changing, so illuminating, that I am positive that it will stay with me forever and always…
Inevitably though, earth-shaking notions come to me while I am driving down the interstate at 70 (or so!) with no pen, pencil or paper and no safe way to make a note to myself. Or, I might solve a few of the world’s problems while standing in the grocery store’s shortest but slowest line, and by the time the debit card has been swiped, so has my mind. Or, I could be on a walk at the farthest place possible away from home when an idea strikes for the world’s most needed invention but by the time my weary legs drag me through the door, the invention has either already become obsolete or discarded in the bin where all lost memories go. Or, at five thirty in the morning when I know that a few more minutes of sleep will not erase sage words of wisdom whispered to me on angels breath in the night, I wake at six to realize that all of the details are gone. All that is left is a vague notion that something vitally important occurred and I was supposed to remember. Repeating “I have to remember… I have to remember…” over and over as a mantra has no power to hold back the haziness that creeps in and fogs all edges of clarity. What seemed brilliant at its inception quickly becomes dull and as quickly as is was born, it dies.
But sometimes a thought comes that is so intense that it will not be shaken off. No amount of time or effort can pry away the fixed grasp it has. It demands to be noticed. To try to ignore it only increases its power. It becomes an obsession. Every second is devoted to it…hours of sleep are surrendered to it. This summer just such a thought grabbed me and would not let me go until I looked it full on in the face. It was a terrible and unnerving thing to behold. It asked me why it had been long ignored and neglected…why it had been hidden to waste away. It asked me with a sneer and a smirk if I was brave. It asked me with the knowing look of a reluctant witness to a crime if I was strong or if in my years of passiveness I had grown weak. It asked me with one eye raised and a finger tapping if I was really finished being still and silent. It asked me if I intended to continue laying prone with my hands folded and my eyes shut… because if I did, it said, I might as well go ahead and climb in my casket now. Death, it said, need not necessarily wait for a body.
I didn’t hear the scary questions at first… what I heard was a voice compelling me to write a story. Not just any story, but a novel. The time, the place, the characters…what they said, what they did… it all began to flow. I was the vessel . The story came to me and through me. A floodgate had burst wide open. It was a torrent of words that were poured out on paper every second I had to write during the day, and long into the wee hours of the morning. I knew what the story was about… but it wasn’t until I began to reread my words that I began to understand the significance of what I had written. My life was my character Katie. Her story was my own. When the scary questions started, when I was faced with the terrible truth, I had been given the answers through the words that had come so urgently and at just the right time… words from and to myself but from somewhere and Someone else too. I discovered that I was brave, and I was strong, and I was so far from dead that all I needed to do was raise my arms high and smile and say, “Thank You! I am alive! I have a light shining on my path. I have a hope and a future. I was lost but now I’m found. Thank You!”
When a thought will not let you go… when questions come to you that are too frightening to face… when you don’t feel strong or brave or alive…pray. With all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind…pray. God heard Jonah, God heard Moses… God hears His people. He heard me. And God will hear you.