…Today, breezy blue clouds of lavender billow their sails like schooners of light…
“I have set a large vase of lilacs just to the left of me as I write. The flowers are heavy with scent. They are drowsy, aphrodisiac. They hold the same sway as a hammock on a hot summer afternoon. I have put those flowers there to keep me company. Today I am lonely.”
~ Julia Cameron, The Right to Write
“Do we ever see tweets that admit to questioning and seeking and needing to know… Lord, why?” or “I need You, God,” wonders the minister from my television this morning Sometimes, he explains, along with extolling and times of rejoicing, the best encouragement is knowing someone else has felt blue too… taking hands of ‘I’ve been there’ across the gap…
Later, a friend is echoing the same. Why has the Lord made this…this way… when He knew the hardship it would be?
I have no immediate answer except our fallen world. We both keep our clasp in His. But talking it out…breathing it out… is comforting. Freeing. Letting go of the tight knit ball of life’s strain and stringing a little out into the hands of someone who “gets” us, like my Grandma used to have me do for her – arms outstretched between two loops of yarn. Because… He never meant us to carry and roll with it all alone.
Sometime later, I’m reading from Julia Cameron’s “The Right to Write,” finding some of it reminds me of old English Major days of avant-garde students sitting around musing over wine and cheese and waxing wise. And a bit…out there. But sometimes… that’s okay, because strewn about it all, I find moments of shooting stars. Like the thought of beauty in a vase of flowers beside me being… company… to my lonely moments. Or the lacy Queen Anne-style pinks now twining through my white wrought iron bench… or the lush English lavender at the entrance to my neighborhood with light chasing its clouds of blue over yesterday’s empty ground…
I hadn’t quite thought of — a spot of beauty to my soul — that way before.
Throughout the book, Julia is sailing forth her hypothesis that every one of us is meant to be a writer. Even…that we have the right to write built into us by design (though she waffles back and forth between terms like “the Universe” and “Great Powers” in link with God), and should not allow ourselves to miss out on that right. And that school most always regiments and knocks it out of us. Or makes us feel…less capable.
Rhetorically, she asks — How many of us had teachers who took time to write, “this is a beautiful way to phrase it!” across our papers? (I had one, and am so grateful!) Too often missing the lyrical for the necessary rote of catching grammatical errors. Causing people to freeze up with fear of “not getting it right.”
That’s why Julia loves to encourage any and all she knows… Are you feeling blue, weary, buoyant or full of cheer? Write, she says.
“But, I’m not a writer,” her friends often protest. “Yes, you are,” she needles until they try it, conductor to the music behind simply getting into a daily habit of putting down your free-flowing thoughts first thing each day. And grinning when they return in the wonder of how it – worked! Helped clear minds, release worry, bring forth a fresh idea.
Morning pages, she calls them. Three pages only, strictly stream of consciousness written out by hand, just 20 minutes or so. If you wait until evening, she offers, it will be after the fact.
And as I read, I’m thinking… for me, it would be more like writing out my thoughts to the Lord – putting whatever is playing around the edges of my mind more concretely into His Hands rather than letting them repeat like a stuck recording throughout the day. I have done that more in the past, gotten out of the habit… though, maybe I haven’t allowed myself to just write as completely worry free or as simply as she suggests.
“Morning Pages are … anything and everything that crosses your mind… Dad’s cough is getting worse… I forgot to buy____ …I don’t like how things went yesterday….
They must be done in the morning. They prioritize the day we are about to have. At root, they are profoundly helpful. They calm us down They cheer us up. They inspire us. They console us…”
And they free our hearts and minds to deeper reflections.
I stopped at that chapter for today… to mull a bit. I like the idea of Morning Pages. Getting into that routine. As a writer, yes. But as a person more. Taking it a bit further. Just writing whatever comes to mind before Him on paper first thing each day. No matter how mundane. To string out my waking up list of wonders, fears and hopes…to the Someone who “gets me” most of all. Because I do know from experience, writing them somehow does set them free to His calm and resolution.
Maybe keeping them to reread again. Or, maybe just tearing them up once written…the writing of them being more valuable than the words…
When I was a little girl, I always wanted to keep a diary. I tried. Only nothing ever happened worth writing. (There it was, that concern about “worthy words.”) Plus, what if someone else read them, I’d worry. (As if I had deep dark secrets 🙂 )
“I don’t have time, Julia,” her friends usually protest until they try. And soon find themselves hooked.
Discovering… it’s like having a cup of tea with morning toast. It only takes a little warming up.
And, I think… I’m going to start in the morning. Will you join me?
© Pam Depoyan
“My thoughts are filled
with beautiful words
for the king,
and I will use my voice
as a writer would use
pen and ink.”
~ Psalm 45:1 [contemporary English Version]
…Anything blue Friday… 🙂