Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Snow and Writing

Yes, Jan and others, the snow is melting. I'm glad because snow becomes so gray and dirty after sitting around for a few days and taking on the car exhaust. The streets were utterly clear yesterday. Our driveway still is rather crowded with snow but one car at a time can snake through the walls of snow on either side.

Tomorrow we expect 3-5 more inches.

Meanwhile I've been writing a lot. The Artist's Way has helped me to open the door that has been closed for so long. Since I started the morning pages I've written approximately 80 pages. I've also had poems and essays come to me. What I am finding is that when I hear the voices in my head that I used to ruminate on then dismiss, I'm writing down the words I hear. This is exhilarating and a bit scary. That's ok.

My best friend in high school, an Episcopal priest in the southeast US, called me yesterday. We haven't talked for close to three years for various reasons--like losing each other's phone numbers during our frequent moves (we both move approximately every three years). She was stunned to learn that I haven't written, really written, in over thirty years. The young woman she knew so well always had paper in her purse or somewhere on her person to scribble thoughts, events, quick poems. That young woman turned out stories and poems by the dozen and reached for a pen instead of something else whenever something horrible or wonderful happened. My friend just assumed that I had kept that up. She said, "That is who you are!"

You know, I've quit denying that she is correct. I made the mistake years ago of devoting myself totally to work instead of allowing myself to continue to make art. I confused making a living with making a life. I never considered that one could do both. That was easy to do in the blue collar town in which I was raised; art was for those "better than we are." I put aside the pen and paper and got to what was known as real work. I've been a person consumed with "if only" and "what if" ever since. What a waste of energy and of gift.

I am going to make some changes. It is not too late to devote myself to the gift God gave me before I was born. A month ago, I was content to grouse about work and my life but do nothing to rectify it. My goal is to "live divided no more" as Parker Palmer says. I am so grateful to the One who created me and all else for allowing this opportunity and for giving me the gift of my life.

All I needed to do was seize it.


Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Oh Laura, Laura, I am so happy for you and so proud of you. And I'm so glad we're walking this path together.

Jan said...

Laura, you and Ruth are inspiring me to I don't know what right now. But you are both inspirational.

Your last paragraph is one I want to read and re-read. Oh, that you won't live a divided life anymore! "WOW"

Mary Beth said...

What Jan said. I've had The Artist's Way for at least 15 years...started and quit day it will be time for me to do it but right now it feels too fearful.

That's okay. It will wait. And you and Ruth are making me courageous-er every day.

bethoc said...

This is indeed good news! Easter Blessings to you, Laura!!