My hope is to offer encouragement to writers as well as those who simply love to read. You will find eclectic snippets here—news of projects I’m working on, comments regarding books I enjoy, favorite authors, quotes, and reflections regarding my own experiences. I especially like to write about my dreams—those parables in the night seasons. Symbols and metaphors delight and intrigue me. You will find them here.
Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.~William Shakespeare
Outside my window the sky is the color of hammered metal, rain on its way. A steaming afternoon in the Carolinas, as the humidity settles over the landscape, the heat daunting. Despite the inhospitable weather, I am grateful for my cool study, like a grotto by the sea where I can shelter on the page.
This morning, I am awash with thanksgiving for the gifts that writing brings to me--not for my own glory or recognition--but rather for the way writing heals me, provides me insights and divine inklings. The way God uses the art to support me, to draw near to me when life cripples. Writing is that cane that helps me walk. Assists me to keep walking. Writing is always easy and never easy. As much as the craft brings me comfort, I must choose to go to the page over and over again. I must choose to be courageous enough to finish projects I've started, even when I believe they are of little worth.
Over the last few weeks I've grappled with next steps for my latest book. The manuscript has languished for several years now, the cover art a question mark. The brilliant artist who is collaborating with me on the project sent me a stunningly beautiful illustration to consider. I felt ambivalent, as even though the depiction was so pleasing to me, the concept reminded me of a popular author I don't like much. The artist stated he would go back to the drawing board, yet over the last weeks his prayers for inspiration brought nothing tangible. I returned to the picture and prayed, "God am I missing something? What might you be saying about this image?"
Ezer: A Hebrew military word for strong warriors who stand alongside their brothers in the battle for God's Kingdom.
Sunlight streaming through my window nudged me out of bed. "Come on," the sun seemed to whisper. "Get up. Keep moving."
I walked down a road in my neighborhood and became attracted to a field of neon-green grass, wet with dew and gleaming in the morning light. An enormous white tent sat in the middle of the grass. Tables and chairs sheltered under its width. Paper plates and cups lay strewn on table tops, plastic forks and knives askew across the plates. A huge barbecue cooker, its lid open, stood next to the tent. "My neighbors must have had a sumptuous feast last night," I said to myself. I stayed and observed the tent for a few minutes and thought that it reminded me of a concept I've been dwelling on. Battle.
A television series, Outlander, that I've recently binged-watched, has contributed to my thoughts as well. There are numerous battle scenes in the show. In these depictions of combat, warriors move in on the enemy and cut them down with their swords, eyes ablaze with a mixture of fear and savage determination. Then when they return to camp, the soldiers sit around campfires and drink and eat, swapping stories, their faces streaked with grime, blood on their sleeves.
I believe, and so do you, that things could have been different in countless ways.~David Lewis, Counterfactuals
I wrote in my journal that I felt comforted to come to the page, writing a solace. I'd taken a walk in the early morning, grateful to look upward and spy a sliver of pale blue. I wept as I wrote, contemplating the beauty of life, fringed with hope and, too, so often clotted with loss and letting go.
I'd hang on, willing myself to trust God, to rely on His ability to create an inner territory--a light-filled geography. Spacious. A peaceful internal landscape, echoing with laughter.
Understand, I'll slip quietly away from the noisy crowd
when I see the pale stars rising,
blooming over the oaks.
I'll pursue solitary pathways through the pale twilit meadows
with only this one dream:
You come too.~Rainer Maria Rilke
I ran across this poem when I read a piece in the Paris Review entitled Poetry RX. Readers wrote in with a life issue, and a poet matched a poem to their situation.
This creative endeavor intrigued me, as poetry has often captured feelings and longings I've had--that flow of words that can create hope, like glimpsing light in the distance.
I'd always been on my way somewhere. Things were going to be great when. Things would finally be okay if. All I had to do was this one thing. Invest in my future. Plan for the future. But what about now? What about this moment?~From How To Be Loved, A Memoir Of Lifesaving Friendship, by Eva Hagberg Fisher
I stood on the banks of the tidal creek. The breeze was still cool; the intense heat hadn't invaded the morning. A hawk sat atop an oak branch, fish jumped, their silver scales reflecting the sunlight. A pelican swooped through the sky. So much life. The bustling atmosphere brought me comfort as I considered my own existence and circumstances.
I am prone to forging ahead, having a plan, making lists, weighing pros and cons. I felt exhausted by my efforts to control, predict and measure. I only wanted to stand on the creek bank and deeply breathe in the tang of mud and salt. To give myself permission to pause, like the hawk who kept me company in his contemplation.