Tag Archives: seeing

Write It Down

7 Jan

I’ve been trying to catch some words, darting about in my head like fireflies. Words are a tricky thing to catch, you see.

Reach out too fast and too greedy and they slip right by you, or come out all awkwardly squished and misshapen.

Wait a moment too long and they are gone.

A pile of laundry lies on my bed, a mountain of color and cloth yelling at me to be folded and put away.

I force myself to walk away. To ignore. To type. Something.

Because these tiny tasks add up to one big distraction of not doing what I was created to do.

I’ve been feeling right on the edge of something, maybe just these silly sentences, maybe even a line or two that will make me go,

“Mmmmm,” when I read it later.

I walked my dog Mumford last night, hurriedly, like I do, trying to get his business over and done with so we could go back into the apartment and get warm. In between buildings, in a dingy ill-kept courtyard with pathetic grass, I looked up between sparse tree branches and saw a scattered handful of stars. I let go of a deep exhale and watch my breath go up like a smoke signal. And I wondered why, why I don’t stop to look up more. Why I don’t breathe more.

Why each step doesn’t have greater purpose then getting to the next thing.

(The next big thing is here.)

And I think of all the things that crowd my mind and block my fingers from letting out the creativity I know wants to flow through me endlessly.

I know as I am sitting here on my bed at midnight next to my antsy dog and my laundry pile, that this is important.

My aching fingers continue to type and I suddenly I know why God invented writing:

Writing is spiritual and it is human. It is a dangerous, swaying bridge that crosses from one to another, with frayed ropes and missing planks to nearly fall through.

It is adventure.

Without this act, this putting of pen to paper, of words to a screen, there are inconsistencies and incompleteness to my existence. I live each day doing what I do, feeling what I feel, longing or loving or feeling lost or like I need to get lost. And in between the mental chatter, the eating, the working, the not always seeing, there is a great sacred itch, a haunting, a pressing that says:

“Write it down,”

Word by word. Bird by bird. Feather by feather. Bone by bone. One tiny effort at a time. It is not worthless.

It is really the most important thing I can do.

It is who I am. Depriving myself is suicide.

So I will ignore the laundry’s cries, the critic’s harsh voice, the ten thousand daily distractions.

I will stop and see my breath sending up smoke signals to the stars.

And I will live to write it down.

Then there is the business of surprise. I never know what is coming next. The phrase that sounds in the head changes when it appears on the page. Then I start probing it with a pen, finding new meanings. Sometimes I burst out laughing at what is happening as I twist and turn sentences. Strange business, all in all. One never gets to the end of it. That’s why I go on, I suppose. To see what the next sentences I write will be.

– Gore Vida

Importance is not Grandeur

6 Sep

“It soon became clear that I was not so much preparing for an important experience, as I was having one.”

– Wendell Berry


it’s important to walk on grass with bare feet
important to smell sweet magnolia blossoms
important to spend time talking
long conversations uninterrupted
it’s important to sit here writing my thoughts

because it what keeps me sane
reminds me I am whole
lets me know that this is all worth it
this living thing I do every day
this creating thing
immersing myself in the story
in art
in expression

it’s important because it’s who I am
because no one else thinks like I do
because so many feel alone
because so many want to be free

it’s important to eat slowly
to savor food I make with my own hands
it’s important to forgive quickly
to be thankful for every little thing
yet always dreaming for more
for bigger, for wider

It’s important to discover
to celebrate small things
to know life is slipping away so fast
surely I can be patient for just one more
year. month. day.

It’s important to love myself
and yet not take myself too seriously
to not forget the faces, the voices
to not forget the suffering

yet to know the world is wide and beautiful
that light dances off every blade of grass
it’s important to know that everything is a miracle
when I am reminded of this I know
why I am here:
to somehow use my few weak words to remind others
to say,

“Do you see this life? Do you see this world? Do you see the wonder all around us, inside of us, all over us? Do you SEE?”

I don’t write these things because I always see
often my eyes are closed and it is darkness
it is despair, it is emptiness
it is broken dreams
it is searing pain that sits in front of me
the holds me so I can’t breathe the right way

then, through the dark
through the selfishness, the disillusionment
I’ll see that subtle ray of light
a reflection, bouncing

I’ll see the green, the blue
and in it, I’ll see the hope
I’ll quickly begin to unroll these thoughts
in order to hold on to it
In order to remind myself, and remind the world
there is good left after all
in order to sing a song, slightly off pitch, voice raspy, cracking
on how grace surrounds us

On how redemption really is here
And we begin to see
This is how we see
how important this is

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