I write because...
One of my favorite spiritual writers is Mark Nepo who says. “Life is always where we are.” It’s not over there where we’d rather be or back then or over the next mountain or after Covid. It is right here, right now. I know that I often think to myself, “how will I look back on this time? Will I have spent this gift of time in a way that I feel good about?” Which often brings me back to the question, how DO I want to spend this time? What sort of day DOES make me happy?
Of late, I have been drawn into too many tempting Zoom webinars, conferences, classes. Each one with some wonderful teacher with some promising information. And I suddenly see that I am overwhelmed by my own choices. There are so many things I want to know and do and now seems like the perfect chance to do them. But, perhaps not ALL of them! I can get so busy going to Zoom sessions that I feel like in some odd way I am not quite living my life.
Mark Nepo also says, “let no-one keep you from your own journey” – no rabbi, no parent who has expectations different from yours, no partner who has their own journey to take, no person whom you think has it all figured out better than you. Take your own journey! And perhaps you don’t know exactly where you want to go or how. And, in this time of Covid you can’t actually “go” anywhere anyway. But, we do have a journey to take during this time. And, for me, writing is a way to sort of map the journey. I like to think of myself following my own pen to see what is right under my nose along the way. I often begin by writing about what I see in the room where I am writing; a plant, the TV, an open book, a bird out the window, a red spatula …. Whatever it is. I begin by describing it in detail – with no hint of where I’m going -- because I myself do not know where I am going. I begin to describe its purpose. And then ask I it, what message it has for me. I find this method almost always to yield something I didn’t already know! That’s why I write. To see the path as I am traversing it. And, in addition, I write because…
I write because…
I write because of the way the sun
is reflected by a million green leaves.
I write because I want to know
who is on the other side of my door.
I write because Mrs. Nye in first grade
taught us to use the thick red pencil
on wide-ruled paper.
I write because my shoulder aches
and my heart aches and my body
is wearing out.
I write because forget-me-nots
sometimes make me cry.
I write to keep myself company
and to freely admit
sometimes I am lonely.
I write to hear that loneliness clearly.
I write because I love canned tuna
with mayo and celery and onions
and I love sandwiches.
Writing is a word sandwich
my spirit can eat
when its hungry.