Tuesday, March 15, 2011

right now

There was a fabulous shout out for NilsenLife in Maryland Family Magazine today (along with so many other tremendous bloggers, such as Carabee and ScaryMommy.  Go check it out!)  You'd think I would've had a shiny new blog post up and ready for the torrent of new readers that might turn up. (If, you know, they're not completely put off by the homeliest blog in town.)

As ever, your erstwhile blogger has 783 good reasons why it's been quiet around here.

This week I'm working on a project that I so want to get right - precisely because the project has nothing to do with who wrote what, and everything to do with reaching hearts and minds.

Generally when I pile that kind of pressure on myself, I have to plan on a few days of complete paralysis.  Total deer-caught-in-the-headlights. Any attempt, any group of three-words-I-string-together starts to look funny, badly written, not the right idea.

When that hits, and all that flows from my fingers to the keyboard starts to look wonky and wrong, I have to walk away.  I leave the keyboard, and visit other authors who seem to have reached a detente with language - who find lyricism and fluidity in both syntax and ideas.

This week I've been reading Anne Lamott, Kathleen Norris, and Barbara Brown Taylor.  They write about faith - the lack thereof, the search for, the practice of.  This particular paragraph (in Brown Taylor's An Altar in the World) caught my attention yesterday:

Many years ago now, a wise old priest invited me to come speak at his church in Alabama.  "What do you want me to talk about?" I asked him.
"Come tell us what is saving your life now," he answered.  It was as if he had swept his arm cross a dusty table and brushed all the formal china to the ground.  I did not have to try to say correct things that were true for everyone.  I did not have to use theological language that conformed to the historical teachings of the church.  All I had to do was figure out what my life depended on.  All I had to do was figure out how I stayed as close to that reality as I could, and then find some way to talk about it that helped my listeners figure out those same things for themselves. (p xvii)

For a blogger-type person who is writing her heart out in an attempt to stay lucid, to be intentional, and mother with love and grace?  This is no less than a reassurance, a call to action, and a mission statement all at once.

So now I'll get back to writing: writing to figure out what is saving my life right now.

3 comments:

Emily@remodelingthislife said...

congrats on the shout out!

i adore anne lamott's books.

I'm in love with that excerpt you shared. I need to staple it to my forehead.

The Empress said...

I love your blog because it is so simple, plain, and bare.

Like an old farmtable, with a feast spread upon it.

Your posts are like that, too. Each word is deliberate.

It reminds me of who I TRULY want to be.

Every day, I am so tempted to become flashier, spend money, get a "grown up" blog.

Then I come here, and I see, and I remember:

This is what I want to be.

Thank you.

LoveFeast Table said...

I agree with The Empress. This is a refreshing corner of the blog world. You have a gift for painting pictures of what you are thinking in a way that is simple yet inspires.
Thank you!
~Kristin

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