Writing 101, Day Three: Commit to a Writing Practice

Assignment: Today, celebrate three songs that are significant to you. For your twist, write for fifteen minutes without stopping and build a writing habit. 

A song’s significance is usually determined by the season of my life and I have observed that the difficult seasons seem to have more say so in the level of significance assigned to a song,, than do the seasons of life when hope and joy are flowing, and contentment requires no active choice on my part.

“If not for Your grace” by Israel and New Breed, is significant because it almost simultaneously prompts reflection and profound gratitude. in me It begins with a question then begins to list how I have experienced God’s grace in my life. What  I find interesting is the song writer is telling my story and I have never met him. Here are the lyrics of the first verse:

Where would I be
If not for your grace
Carrying me
Through every season?
Where would I be
If not for Your grace
That came to my rescue
And I want to thank You
For Your grace…

The second song I am celebrating is Laura Story’s, “Blessings.” I heard this song while driving to work one morning, during one of the most stressful seasons of my life. It was so moved by it, I contacted the radio station to obtain the name of the song and shared my experience as I listened to it.  The song provided me with a different perspective on the hard, painful challenges I was experiencing at the time, one that I have never forgotten.  She asks several questions including, “’Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops? What if Your healing comes through tears?” Umm. The idea that the hard, painful challenges that I wanted to be done with as quickly as possible, could actually bring about good in my life was both thought provoking and soothing.

The third song is Leonard Cohen’s, ”Anthem. ” I recall being startled by the truths of the song and the wise instruction it provided.  The lyrics remind me that each day provides the opportunity to start anew, and encourage me to focus on what I have left instead of on what I have lost. They also encourage me to accept brokenness and imperfection as gifts, not things or “issues” to be fixed or be ashamed of their presence in my life.

“If not for Your grace,” “Blessings,” and “Anthem.” I am thankful for and celebrate these songs today.

My twist: Free Write for 15 minutes

Empty my mind on the page is the instruction. Not even sure that there is anything particular that I thinking of but that does not mean there is nothing there. I want to run sometimes at other times I want to stay exactly where I am but not moving seems like only a option for the moment. It can never be a permanent sate unless we are talking about finding that place in myself that anchors me regardless of what is going on. I do believe that there is such a thing as who I am at my core. And that is who I have been for all my life even though some aspects of it are hidden from me and are awaiting my discovery. What is the process of discovery? Journal writing? Life experiences? I have had the experience of reacting in a situation in ways that left me surprised. I seem a stranger to myself. I recall sharing this with my friend E who calmly and kindly looked at me and noted wisely, that has always been in you. It is true of all of us. Not want I really wanted to hear but it was true all the same. What I had seen in myself was not who I thought myself to be but it was all me. so I was faced with the option of accepting this newly revealed flawed part of myself and not pretend it was not there. How true that it is the darkness and the light that together paints the true picture of our life, who we really are. Reminds me of an article I read about so called dark emotions like grief and anger and the importance of them being accepted and the thought that it is in the darkness that things that are good can blossom and grow. Why deny what is already there? Doing so can produce some temporary equilibrium but it is a false one. We want equilibrium that that is based on facing all the truth about ourselves, about others, about our circumstances, not one coming from stuff things inside the closets of our minds or in boxes and wrapping them up in shiny, pretty paper and topping it all off with a colorful well tied bow. We can do that but I have learned that what I ignored does not disappear. It simply goes underground and then stages a guerilla attack when I least expect it. Sometimes in the form of unexplained tension. Or sadness. Or even illness. Sometimes there is the sense of dread. That there is something that needs my attention. Yes. What I go away from consciously does not accommodate me by leaving. It bides its time because it knows it warrant my attention and does not deserve the darkness of a closet, chocked in with all the other stuff I placed there over decades of my life. Everything needs to be placed in the light, even that which scares me and gives me he hives mentally. Yes, all things deserve the light, even if I am the only one who witnesses it. But there is also benefits to voicing the unspoken. To sharing what shames and induces guilt and even paralyses to someone trust worthy. I have learned that it is in t he telling that shame loses its power. Or at least weakens. Help me speak the truth that heals me and perhaps even someone else. I heard or read that the best gift I can give someone I love is the healthiest me I can be. Health will require attention to that which I have allowed to lie untreated, the wounds that have been covered with a bandaid when what was needed were sutures by a expert surgeon. Yes, even if anesthesia is not available. Sometimes that is what it takes to be healed. Someone said, if you think education is expensive, try ignorance. I think the same is true with healing. It may be painful and you question the likelihood of survival but death can be guaranteed even if is in not physical death, if a wound is not given what it needs to heal. Time is not enough. Attention, informed attention is needed for recovery and healing..

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