The sunshine makes it easier to bear the cold weather. So too, does the fact that I don’t intend to leave my house today. I’m hunkering down with words, and a blanket of melancholy that came in with cold front.
There are things that need attention, and others I need to let go of. I imagine you can relate. We all go through periods such as this now and then. It helps to know we’re not alone in the muck.
That’s the power of story. Whether shared quietly over a cup of coffee, or written down for another day and a reader one might not currently envision, the stories of our lives serve to as tools to encourage, teach, and connect us.
C.S. Lewis says that friendship “is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! you too? I thought that no one but myself . . . ”” We listen, and honour the telling of another’s story. Sometimes we offer counsel, but the most important work is to listen. In the right time and space we tell our own, and it’s in the back and forth where connection is formed.
I wish I was better at it; the spoken word is not my first language.
But writing. Without it I’d be lost.
I’ve been chewing on something Frederick Buechner said about his own writing. That it would “never reach as wide a public as I would like– too religious for secular readers, I suspect, and too secular for religious ones–but in the end justice is almost always done in literary matters, I believe, and if they are worth enduring, they will endure.”
His thoughts echo mine with respect to the new book I’m writing: it is, I imagine, too religious for secular readers and too secular for religious ones. I can already hear whispered criticism as I work, but I continue nevertheless. Time will tell how it all comes out in the wash—and if it survives the spin cycle at all.
Perhaps I’ll finish it and just toss it in a drawer. Or perhaps not. Those are considerations for another day.