Friday, April 24, 2015

On spring, and trying

It is fully, delightfully, miraculously spring.

I cannot get over the beauty of the spreading mist of new leaves.  A friend walking in the park with me said, "Look!  The trees are furry!"

The grass is green.  Ours is bright green and lush, because Shawn fertilized it.  Growing up, I had a neighbor, Mr. Johnson.  "Rootie," he used to say, "Rootie, you need to tell your dad that he wouldn't have to mow so much if he didn't put so much fertilizer on his grass!"  I think of this every time I step outside and see the verdant clumps of moist blades bushing over the edges of the walkway.

Trees, in their glory, spread pink and white blossoms to the sky while lower down, rosy tulips, yellow daffodils and blue grape hyacinths display their colors across the ground.

And dandelions.  So cheerful, yet so unwelcome, yet so innocently reminiscent of childhood days when we made wishes and blew seeds mixed with our spittle into the neighbors' yards.

Last weekend we got all torn up trying to prune the roses.  We have some ferocious roses here, but we were ferocious right back at them, and I expect it will be to their benefit in a few weeks.  In the meantime, there is calendula oil for the stinging, swelling scratches.

Sometimes I have a fear that I will never accomplish anything, that my mind is stale from lupus drugs and the odd stupor of sleeping off the years of sleep deprivation that went with child-rearing and the six months of trauma that encompassed our cross-country move in 2013.  Yes, I'm still sleeping those off, it seems, to my shame.

Now and then I catch glimpses of myself in mirrors, and I think, "Who is that old woman?"  Inside, I still feel so young, awkward, uncertain.  How can it be that I've gotten old without ever growing up?  How can I have gotten old without ever figuring out what to do with my life?

I want to write a book, something significant, not just "a book," that people buy and read and toss away saying, "That was fun."  I want to write something that is true and meaningful, lasting, and (dare I reach?) important.  I want to write a book, but I don't even read books anymore, and I have barely been writing blog posts, let alone chapters.

I pray.  I pray a lot.  That is the thing I do, and I am learning more about it as I go along, how to listen to God, and how to catch myself when I start presenting my agenda to Him, and how to back off, trusting, accepting His plan as preferable to my own.  I am learning to recognize when my prayers are not really prayers, but mostly a cover for worry.  At times, I need to stop praying and just leave it in the hands of God, to know that I've brought it to Him, and that He knew what was needed even before I said anything.  Then I exercise my faith by resting in Him, meditating on His attributes instead of the particulars of the problem.  The more I focus on Him, the bigger He gets, and the smaller the problem becomes.

If God wills, I will write something.  I don't want to write something trendy or shallow or temporary.  I want to write for His glory.  I just read an amusing Christian pulp fiction book.  It was actually really good for its genre, well done if not exactly what I would call theologically sound.  I read it because I hadn't read a book for awhile, and I need to read if I'm going to write.  Musicians need to listen to music, artists need to look at beautiful things, and writers need to read.  So I read this book, and I enjoyed it, but it isn't the kind of book I'd want to write.  There's that.  Not that I could write a book like that (I'm not saying I'm better than the author; she had talent), but just that it isn't what I want to offer the world.

Do I have something to offer the world?  Can I create the form that my soul longs to lift up in praise, not pedantic prescriptiveness, and make a difference?  I used to have stories that roiled in my head at night, but they aren't there anymore.  I can't remember.  I can hardly remember my shopping list.

Once I had a dream, and I woke up feeling deliciously filled, consciously thinking, this is my story, this is what I need to write down.  But as I tried to catalog the memory of the dream, it wafted away, uncatchable.

If God wills, I will write something.  If God wills, He will give me the story.  And if God is the source, it will be good!

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