Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Even Among Unanswered Questions

Lately, I struggle
to create something
that feels authentic.

Today, this rings true:

The struggle visits often.

Actually, it's pretty common.  Rarely do I find instant inspiration.
Yet the fight to create looms large in recent months
whether it be words or art or photos.

So I make empty backgrounds.

Just showing up and creating something
and pouring out something
waiting for the words, the images, the ideas.

trying to get myself out of the way to serve the work . . . as Madeline L'Engle puts it.

She writes in Walking On Water: Reflections on Faith and Art
about how prayer and art involves a process of pouring out self so that one can listen.

So, I spend time in the pouring out process . . . 
and every now and then the still small voice begins to whisper . . . 

I feel this great pressure to put
into my art.

And this year
appears to be
a year

I guess unknowing is the most authentic thing currently.

My family: healthy goodness.
My marriage: solid, faithful, love.
My kids: more than I could hope for.
with far deeper
than I.

But even so.
I lost my writing voice.

It eludes me.

Or I can't find an authentic public voice.

I write privately...too much is personal.

And so, for now, much of my writing
stays private
serving its purpose there.

But my soul aches to share.
I know others experience it too.

This year
I continually walk through questions
about relationships,
about my faith,
about how to live and walk and share that faith
personally, and with those I love.
I am walking through questions
about dreams that I have had
hopes that have gone unfulfilled
ambitions that never quite seem to be grasped,
about where to apply the interests and passions that I have.

Do I keep doing what I am doing?
Do I make changes to my business?
Do I really have a business or just a glorified hobby?
Is that ok?
Do I do something totally different?
Do I renew my teaching certificate?
Do I try to become a licensed professional at something?
Will that really open doors for me?
The doors that I want to go through? 
Or just think I should go through
so people think I am "doing the right thing"?

I question
when to hang on
when to let go.

I question
about control 

and finding joy
 and avoiding pain
and avoiding conflict
and avoiding rejection

perhaps at the expense
of who I am ... maybe ?  ?  ?

I question about how to help those I love.
I question about transition as parents.
I question about the future.

Life is a huge question mark isn't it?
I think it's time to get comfortable with the question.
Welcome it.
Acknowledge it.
Ask it.

I have sought security much of my life in knowing.
Knowing the answers.
Knowing the right thing.
Then doing the right thing.
Even, I specifically remember as a child in elementary school,
doing better than the right thing
if that was possible.

I have thought
 that if I know and do the right thing
that everything will be ok.
That if I know and do the right thing
everybody in my life will be happy.
That somehow there is a formula to know and do
that will fix things.
Fix relationships, finances, insecurity.
I have tried to know right, do right, be right, prove that I am right, appear to be right.

I have valued and sought security in understanding.

This has been a year
 of unknowing,
not understanding,

My chest wrings with an ache 
that stays more often than leaves.

A painful peeling-away tears deep within me
of the things in which I have sought safety and security.

That peeling away frees me though.  It is good.

Because all of my grasping to know right and do right and appear right
speaks of my own form of self-sufficiency, self-reliance, 
independence of . . . need for anyone but my own abilities . . . 
including . . . God.
It speaks of my need for Him and there I find peace in the questions.
Not in people's answers, not in my own answers,
but in His vast knowing and understanding
that is beyond my own.
Some how, I can trust that.

Even though
all of this is happening . . . 

Even though
I do things that are different than I used to do . . .

Even though
I may not do what others think is right . . .

Even though
I don't always have an answer . . . 

Even though
I am not ready for some things . . . 

Even here.

Even now.

God is still whispering



Even in all the questions.

I am finding Him.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

everyday ordinary life


for everyday, ordinary


in the midst of everyday, ordinary

questions, uncertainty, 

and ever-moving, ever-changing