We’re all preparing for something.
Here are glimpses of people you’ll recognize preparing…
For life. For the Olympics. For the unknown. For writing through memory and pain.
Preparing to live fully right where you are…
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
“One writes not to be read but to breathe...one writes to think, to pray, to analyze. One writes to clear one's mind, to dissipate one's fears, to face one's doubts, to look at one's mistakes--in order to retrieve them. One writes to capture and crystallize one's joy, but also to disperse one's gloom. Like prayer--you go to it in sorrow more than joy, for help, a road back to 'grace'.” ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh
“I want first of all... to be at peace with myself. I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out these obligations and activities as well as I can. I want, in fact--to borrow from the language of the saints--to live "in grace" as much of the time as possible. I am not using this term in a strictly theological sense. By grace I mean an inner harmony, essentially spiritual, which can be translated into outward harmony. I am seeking perhaps what Socrates asked for in the prayer from the Phaedrus when he said, "May the outward and inward man be one." I would like to achieve a state of inner spiritual grace from which I could function and give as I was meant to in the eye of God.” ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea
“I learned many things about how to confront conflicts and unexpected challenges. The most important was this: If you want to increase safety, you must move toward the challenge.”
Take Small Steps
Preparing as a child…
“Day after day, I lay on that small hill and watched the shifting patterns of clouds and listened to the birds. I could not identify the birds themselves, but I did recognize their calls. Sometimes I made my own sounds to call back; whenever I did there would follow a moment of abrupt silence during which I assumed the birds tried to identify me…
Whenever I was at that place, a sense of peace came into me like a religion. I wanted to tell everyone what it felt like to be there…This happened with many things I saw, or heard, or felt. I wanted to share them.”
Preparing to write as an adult…
“I also work out of a backyard shed, which is plain and simple, stripped down to the basic elements…”
“I might have coffee and a treat at the bakery, then wander into the hardware store…”
“For me the best times are always those that are closest to what I felt as a child when I visited that gully, when I lay on that long, green grass and looked up into the trees, and felt the wide ache of wanting to be able to share with someone all that lay inside.”
On how he prepares to write after being struck by a van…
“I didn’t want to go back to work. I was in a lot of pain…I couldn’t imagine sitting behind a desk for long, even in my wheelchair. Because of my cataclysmically smashed hip, sitting was torture after forty minutes or so, impossible after an hour…Added to this was the book itself, which seemed more daunting than ever—how was supposed to write about dialogue, character, and getting an agent when the most pressing thing in my world was how long until the next dose of Percocet?
Yet at the same time I felt I’d reached on e of those crossroads moments when you’re all out of choices. And I had been in terrible situations before which the writing had helped me get over—had helped me forget myself at least for a little while…
That first writing session lasted an hour and forty minutes, by far the longest period I’d spent sitting upright since I’d been struck by Smith’s van. When it was over I was dripping with sweat and almost too exhausted to sit up straight in my wheelchair. The pain in my hip was just short of apocalyptic. And the first five hundred words were uniquely terrifying—it was as if I’d never written anything before them in my life. All my old tricks seemed to have deserted me…There was no inspiration that first afternoon, only a kind of stubborn determination and the hope that things would get better if I kept at it.”
“Out the kitchen window the sky rolls out. Apple blossoms fill the orchard. The morning dove warms her bluing hope. I can hear Him, what He is telling the whole world and even me here: this is for you. The lover’s smile in the morning, the child’s laughter down the slide, the elder’s eyes at eventide: this is for you. And the earth under your feet, the rain over your face upturned, the stars spinning all round you in the brazen glory: this if for you, you, you. These are for you—gifts—these are for you—grace—these are for you—God, so count the ways He loves, a thousand, more, never stop, that when you wake in the morning you can’t help turn humbly to the east, unfold your hand to the heavens, and though you tremble and though you wonder, though the world is ugly, it is beautiful, and you can slow and you can trust and you can receive each moment as grace. Eucharisteo. Eucharisteo. Eucharisteo.” ~ One Thousand Gifts
As for me, I write novels. And I keep writing them. I’ll save the rest of the story for another day.
We are all being prepared for something.
What are you preparing for? Which of the above resonated with you today?
*photo by stock.XCHNG