Why do we write?

“Why do we write?
To make suffering endurable
To make evil intelligible
To make justice desirable
and … to make love possible”

-Roger Rosenblatt

inspired to requote from:
http://chichikir.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/why-do-we-write/

The Art Center

The room I entered by way of the recording studio was large, airy and sunny. Windows were everywhere, and all were open to allow in the most delicious of summer breezes and clean air.  Two or three students sat at the kitchen bar on some bar stools discussing upcoming musical events, one holding his instrument casually. A row of stringed instruments stood in the center of the wooden floor, one an electric cello. A feeling of peace, hallowedness and safety pervaded the room. Opposite the kitchenette, in front of the half wall of bay windows, was large square wooden table, covered with artist’s books. One was a black and white typographical piece, all in clean sans serif font all throughout, with the occasional German word with the German font. It was a story, a language study, and a typography book, with touches on historical moments, significant to the student artist who made it. A few students discussed art in the collection of white leather furniture on the opposite side of the room from the table, where there was a throw rug (was it a dark fur rug?) and a brown leather circular leather tea table. There were cookies in the kitchenette, which only made the conversation more homey and comfortable.  I, the dreamer, lovingly turned the pages of the black and white artist’s book and longed to be a part of this safety, this peace, this love of human and God and art and music. Further left than the table, where there were more bookshelves and a piano, at the center of the wall, a door opened and an elderly lady came out of her private studio to watch the students create and interact. The artistic peace in the room seemed to engage her soul fully and be a part of her. The students looked up to say hi and she interacted with them as mentor and spiritual leader. Each student found their place at the art center that was attached to a home that held a lifetime of love and mystery.

The Artist is not made for the World

The artist is not made for the world, and therefore the world does not fit or understand him. The Artist goes forth with starry eyes to touch the world with what has touched him, expecting mountains of hierarchy and authority to move, and they do not. They turn their back on him. They are stone cold in the face of his art. The artist is bewildered to find the structure does not bend. It is not even touched. The artist may go through so many disappointments he decides he will not “be an artist” anymore. And therein is the irony and glory – he cannot stop. His straight and narrow circumstances cause him to create again. His injury inspires his poetry.

Again, the artist is not understood by the world, for art is this: a sentence from heaven. A music chord from a heavenly song. A feather falling from an angel’s wing.

The artist rejoices when art, even other’s art, moves the masses. He knows he has had a glimpse of what he was made for.

The artist is not understood by this world, because art is not of this world, but of heaven.

Flying Objects

I stare at my monitor and let the flying tiny objects fly past my tired brain. I’m tired, and I observe that. I’m confused, and I observe that. I’m overworked and I observe that. I don’t know what the next step with my project is and I observe, no, just exist, in that. Breathe in. Breathe out. That’s all I know. I stop and breathe and rest. another curve ball was thrown this morning. Breathe in. Breathe out. Stop. Don’t do. Don’t think. Take air in. Take air out.

A million tiny objects fly past my head. I own none of them. Long ago anger, pushed back pressure, I see none of these long enough to fully recognize what they are and where they’re coming from, and certainly not to engage them. There are larger forces. Life moves on. Spins, rushes. At the center, it turns slowly, surely, determinedly, self-contained. At the edges, spinning frantically, rushing like a child’s merrry-go-round, the pieces move quickly to keep up with the center.

Waiting at Target on a Tuesday Evening

When a latte or a lack thereof and an empty cafe at night waiting for my ride to come are all I have, and a notebook, and a pen, and it is still good, then there is some clarity with that I guess. When there’s nothing to do but shop and wait and I don’t even have money to spend, what else is there to do? My nails are polished, and I think about the color and the fact that there are no chips, and wonder when the next line of Sonia Kashuk nail colors will come out, and wonder and wonder when Nate will come.

 

I left him a message with the phone at the counter. Did he get it? Why wouldn’t he get it? What is his phone died, too? What time is it?

 

Why are there no clocks anymore? No clocks or phones anywhere. And if there were phones they would be payphones, and as I said, I had no money.

 

If I had money, I would buy a cellphone charger. And charge my phone and call Nate.

 

But if I did, I would not be here, because when I made it to the gas station, so relieved, yes, I had made it, I would have bought gas, silly. Why else does one go to a gas station? And that’s when I discovered my wallet, the yellow one, was gone. Nate – he took it out last night to give me my card.

 

So if his phone was not dead, why would he not answer? Probably because he did not recognize the number.

 

And if I had money, I would buy some makeup food, no I would buy a cellphone charger, no I would have bought some fuel.

 

If there are clocks in this store, I wonder if they are set?

Because work is worship

Because work is worship…that is why.

This was an answer that struck me today as I wondered why it mattered SO MUCH to me that I find the right things to do. The right job. The right place to engage my heart which loves words and music so much. Why does it matter so much that God show me the way the next couple of years as my husband and I go through the journey that has been one of the most arduous and adventurous that I have ever been through (tackling a mountain of debt and being victorious). Why does it matter that God help me with the outcome of the interview I had last week, and show me whether I should take the writing course, audition for the Hershey Symphony Orchestra, find graphic design jobs, or all three?

Because work is worship – and I want to be in a place where I can worship God through that work.   And because it just seems much more worshipful to work in your strengths than badger your weaknesses. Because I truly believe, as some of reading believe, and as some of you may not, that God gives us our gifts for a purpose, a real, deep, earth-touching, people-connecting, and even income earning purpose. Why did I tack on income earning? Because even money can be of faith. And because you need it to eat, pay the mortgage, drive to church, help out your friends, buy clothes, etc.

But that does not mean that any of the above paths have to lead to earning income. Only one does (perhaps the job interview). The rest can just be abiding parts of my life that I know I should continue in.

When I see anyone who feels the least bit satisfied with their work, something that they feel is slightly “vocational” to them, I am jealous.

“If we love our work and find it meaningful, how is it different from worship?” Siobhan Curious says.

It is one of the most beautiful forms of worship. That I am sure of.

Little Princes and Procastinating

I like to share blog treasures – so here’s some good stuff I read today.

For all of my fellow abolitionists – bermudaonion shared about a book called Little Princes in the blogpost:

http://bermudaonion.net/2012/01/19/review-little-princes/

Part of me really wants to read this book and part of me is afraid? Have any of you ever read it?

And for you fellow procrastinators, new hampshire writer’s network shares a fun “how to beat procrastination” post for writers.

http://nhwn.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/friday-fun-procrastination/

I actually don’t consider myself much of a procastinator. I’m more  obsessive compulsive. But I suppose it’s something we all could relate to.