Where My Words May Go

Writing may be humanity’s greatest unconsummated passion. A great many people, perhaps a majority, think at some point to take up the craft. An idea springs from a moment of divine epiphany. Or, it builds slowly, layer upon layer, as imperceptible in its form as the sculpture lying within limestone. Children’s books, memoirs, novels, histories, theology – millions of volumes in every possible genre begin to take shape, clawing at the mind from within, begging to be born. But, of course, most of these works never survive the journey from mind to page.

There are at least a thousand reasons for the miscarriage of every work that is never writ. Children, work, hobbies, school: every conceivable draw takes precedence over the quietly clamoring story within us. If the words begin to emerge they most often are swept away by flooding self-doubt, as the mind races to drown its newborn creation.

Most never allow their story to stagger outside the tight confines of their fear. Fewer still are given chance to spend their days clothing truth in the written word. Those who brave to stand naked in their words most often labor long before their light is seen. And, once born, the worded progeny must be carried a great way before she has the strength to provide for the one who bore her. Given the great lengths one must go to take the spark of a tale from conception to maturity, it is little wonder so few follow through on the desire to consummate their early flirtations with writing.

I find myself now at the point of embarking once again on this journey – a journey I have started a hundred times, only to scuttle myself within safe distance of land. Unlike most, I have been blessed more than once with the opportunity to squeeze a living out of the English language. Mind you, I wasn’t cranking out best-sellers, or polishing my Pulitzers. But, I was supplying the needs of my family with the written word, putting out work daily of which I had reason to be proud. And then I quit.

I had good enough reason at the time to leave wordsmithing behind during my working hours – a story for another day. But, I had no need to quit the tale altogether. Most writers must wait until close of day to succumb to the seduction of their words. I, too, could have done this. I could have continued to court and coax my words in the soft hours of the night. But, I did not.

Like so many others, I perceived the odds against rearing a successful issue so immense, it was best not to begin. So, I pushed the fragments and visions of my work into the dark corners of my mind, behind all my piles of illusory obligation. They rested there, patiently, beckoning only when I was too hopeful or too hopeless to quell their cries.

Six years I spent listlessly pushing them about, here and there and back again, without any sense of direction or purpose. Three years more I left them idle, convinced they were better off without me. I turned my back on myself and pressed headlong away from everything I could never escape. And still they remained, quietly faithful in the face of my rejection, waiting for me to return to myself.

Why, then, return now to this path? Why break down my carefully crafted walls to embrace and embark with my long-neglected tales? Maybe it’s the darkening shade of my mortality. Or a temporary lapse in smothering sensibility. Perhaps fear of insignificance has finally outstripped fear of rejection. No, it is far sweeter than these; ever-present and harder yet to find. It is the spirit that knows no walls, and seeks to marry heart and mind in all who will but open both.

In the embrace of this loving spirit I have found a peace that lies beyond understanding. Fear and doubt are but darkness fleeing light, and each word moving through me tears at the shade. No longer will I withhold the source of all that is good. Success and supply no longer lie atop some far mountain. They are within me, as real and certain as leaves awaiting spring’s caress. And so I write, without fear of where my words may go. Their own life and purpose will be served, carried forth by the same spirit that made them seed.

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7 thoughts on “Where My Words May Go

  1. I spend most of my life crafting words that I will speak that I pray are inspired and inspiring. It takes a great deal of faith or arrogance to put our words out there and believe that someone else will be interested in them. Then again, who are we writing for? 🙂 Keep going. See where those words take you. What can be scary is when the character gets a mind of its own and starts doing things you didn’t tell them to do!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I appreciate your kind words and support. I think it’s incredible the way writing can take off on its own if we allow it. This post was a good example: I started out to write a pretty straight-forward 30 minute post. Three hours later it was complete, and completely different than I had intended at the outset. I wouldn’t trade it for what I meant to write. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. More often than not I write poetry, cramming as much emotion and meaning into as few words as possible. For me, writing is catharsis, a purging of what is left after many tears both internal and external have been shed. Yes, it’s scary to let go, to watch your mind’s child fly off, but then who are we really writing for? Keep going.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Do you know this story? Two men become friends at seminary. One goes on to become world famous. He leads a mega-church with a congregation of thousands. The other pastors a tiny, isolated church with a membership of half a dozen.

    One day the famous minister pays a visit to his friend. The man with the smaller church apologies for the simplicity of his surroundings, the dilapidated state of his chapel, and the size of his congregation. The more famous minister attends Sunday service, but walks out midway.

    When the service is over, the pastor goes to find his famous friend. “I know the service was uninspiring. I was never the speaker you are. I never had that gift.” But, with tears in his eyes, the famous man stops his humble friend. “I had to leave,” he says. “The strength of your faith was overwhelming.”

    Our faith is not measured by the size of our audience. Sorry to go on at such length. It’s a character flaw of mine (LOL).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hadn’t heard that one before, but it is beautiful. It captures what I have come to believe about my work: if God wants me to do it, then it will find the audience it needs to find. Thank you! Also, I see you’ve read enough of my work to know I also struggle with brevity. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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