Friday, July 12, 2013

Writer, Bridge Builder

I apologize for the long delay between posts. And for picking it back up on a Friday when people aren't really online that much.

I had opened a discussion about identity.  Who do you identify as?
Today I'm going to discuss the aspect of my identity that is a writer, and why.

"Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open." - Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within

Why write what's disturbing and scary? Sometimes so I can get it out of myself. Sometimes what we are silent about settles in our bodies and festers creating not only unhappiness, but sickness. Sometimes you have to split open and empty out before you can begin to heal.

"Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly. That’s why it’s so hard." - David McCullough

Many people say I over-think. My rebuttal is that it's because I'm a writer.  When I don't export my thoughts onto the page, they run circles in my head and it makes conversations with friends a little confusing.  That's part of the reason for this blog.
Also, I believe that the thoughts I have are probably similar to the thoughts some other young women have.  So if I can think clearly about a topic and write about it, maybe I can help someone else think clearer.

"There are books of the same chemical composition as dynamite. The only difference is that a piece of dynamite explodes once, whereas a book explodes a thousand times." - Yevgeny Zamyatin, A Soviet Heretic: Essays by Yevgeny Zamyatin

I want to explode someone's thinking about love, about why we live our lives, about God, about religion, about America, about beauty.  I want someone to read a book of mine and have their whole thought process changed. 
I want to help you get from here to there, from please to thank you, from amen (so let it be) to there it is.  Wherever you are in life right now, no matter how great or terrible, there is a better place. I want to help you get there.  For me, writing (and to a vaguely lesser degree, performing and speaking or preaching) is how I show people the bridge from where you are to where you want to be.  A blog post, a poem, a story, a book can be your bridge. 

That's why I teach high school, to help kids get from childhood to adulthood. 
That's why I teach reading/English/language arts, because if there is nothing else available, there will always be a public library with Bibles, books and periodicals to help you build your bridge.
That's why I write, to move people from one emotional or intellectual place to the next.
That's why I perform, to draw out people's feelings and inspire them to take the next step.
This is my heart, my calling, my ministry.

Health and finances are my personal areas of struggle where I needed someone or something to help me build my own bridge, and help me walk across it.  I am embarking on a journey to tackle both of those areas of opportunity at once. When I get to the other side, I can tell my story.  I need to be healthier so I can live a long life telling and retelling the story, helping people build.  I need to be more financially stable so that I have freedom to travel and give into the ministry and Kingdom.

I'm trying to get like my friend Jabee: "Build a bridge and get over it. I went from never leaving home to flying over it."

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