Saturday, February 25, 2012

We'll Call it Lent


I've been dancing an awkward dance with this blog of mine. 


I love this space and think of it often. I have partial posts scribbled down on notebook paper and others tucked away in my mind (not likely to resurface in tact). Still others flit about - bits and pieces ruminating in Word docs filed away for another day. 


This year began with more work than I'm used to. I first welcomed it, was then nearly swallowed by it and ultimately came out the back side understanding that next time I'd have to order and accept projects with greater care. 


And so, mid-month I mentally crafted a post slating February as The New January. It felt clever. It also afforded me the space to dream about the coming year. I sensed that I was on the brink of regaining my footing within the realm of balanced productivity. I fully intended to share this with you.


But I never published it. 


And the ideas kept coming. 


I've been meeting with two women each month who happen to freelance write. The synergy has been incredible (which is why I found myself near drowning in work). I've intended to tell you about this - to encourage you to find your own guild of sorts in hopes of inspiring you to reach  new goals and aspirations. 





February also found me blowing in the wind - emotionally speaking - within the world of homeschooling. Yes, I know that February is the month for slumps, questions, and all sorts of angst within this subculture. And still, my hurdles felt personal and specific. There were late nights, prolific internet searches and lots of prayer. 


The month is nearly over now and I'm thankful to report that I'm once again at peace in this area of our lives. A wise friend of mine graciously floated a single thought my way and it somehow allowed me to breathe deeper and rest well within my small corner of the world. There are some insights tucked within the experience. I think some of you may even be interested to know what they are. I intended to pass them along.


And then I changed my mind.


In our first ten years of marriage we had twelve addresses. We're now nearing our sixth year in the same spot. Amazing. We love our home and are well settled in. But what I've recently discovered is that with time I've lost my edge a bit in the area of organization. 


The longer one stays put the longer one has to put things. And so, part of my February is the New January mantra has involved creating a master list of projects that will leave me feeling as though I could pack things up and head to a new location - with no real intention of doing so. This has involved projects ranging from reordering our herb cabinet in the kitchen to revamping how I maintain my recipe binders and calling into serious question how many vases one actually needs. I have tips I'd love to pass along. 


Then I wonder, does anybody (other than me) really need to know this?


Every single pair of underwear I presently own is somehow linked to my girl friends. Weird, I know. And yet there's a story here - several really. These sorts of reflections are my favorite to get down on paper. 


For some reason I've kept this (mostly) to myself.
     
I just put down Tatoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion and feel somehow awakened in new ways to a world I know so little about. I've since picked up The Idle Parent: Why Laid Back Parents Raise Happier and Healthier Kids. Seeing that I'm neither idle nor laid back this has been an interesting read - certainly something I could write about. I'm also acquainting myself with author Madeleine L'Engle whose prose have stirred and challenged me beyond repair. Each of these works merits a post (or two).


Yet I've watched myself remain quiet.




This particular blog happens to be my third. I'm brave enough to admit that with each burst of electronic creativity I've ultimately turned an emotional corner that has landed me in a realm of questioning ... and in the end I've unplugged. The questions are plentiful - they involve things like:


-Who is listening?
-What is my contribution?
-Is this the best use of my time?
-Am I living authentically?
-Is this the best use of my reader's time?
-Does this enhance my relationships?
-Am I living what I'm admonishing?
-What am I missing while sitting at my keyboard?
-What is my motivation?


Long before Facebook, Blogger and Podcasts author Anne Marrow Lindbergh wrote Gift From the Sea. It is 138 pages of brilliance and beauty. I can't help but think that as she flew above the clouds with her husband Charles that she sensed life's pace on the brink of unalterable change. 


She wrote this work in a time of solitude - where God and His creation alone delivered clarity and calm to her otherwise full existence. No chatter. No bustle. Simply the sea and its rhythm. 




“Now, instead of planting our solitude with our own dream blossoms, we choke the space with continuous music, chatter, and companionship to which we do not even listen. It is simply there to fill the vacuum. When the noise stops there is no inner music to take its place. We must relearn to be alone.”

And so I step back - in the name of Lent - to relearn to be alone

"We are aware of our hunger and needs, but still ignorant of what will satisfy them. With our garnered free time, we are more apt to drain our creative springs than to refill them. With our pitchers, we attempt sometimes to water a field, not a garden. We throw ourselves indiscriminately into committees and causes. Not knowing how to feed the spirit, we try to muffle its demands in distractions. Instead of stilling the center, the axis of the wheel, we add more centrifugal activities to our lives – which tend to throw us off balance.” 


With that I'm signing off - not forever, but for now. I just need to catch my breath. 


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2 comments:

  1. Fantastic post. Thankful for it - and you - and I can so relate. I love especially your list of poignant, thoughtful, and (it strikes me) Spirit-led questions about the role and nature of blogging. Best set of questions of this type that I think I've ever seen...
    -Who is listening?
    -What is my contribution?
    -Is this the best use of my time?
    -Am I living authentically?
    -Is this the best use of my reader's time?
    -Does this enhance my relationships?
    -Am I living what I'm admonishing?
    -What am I missing while sitting at my keyboard?
    -What is my motivation?

    Thank you.
    May God breathe wisdom, answers, Himself into the space you carve out. Into yours and mine both :)

    ~S.

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  2. I hear ya, Cari. About everything. Except having a guild of my own. Wish I had one. And I must admit, I can't relate to the underwear.

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