22. Writing From Within

What I’m writing is a memoir, but has become something of an epistle of faith. When I look across my history and the history of my family now, I see patterns and meanings I didn’t see then. There was purpose in all of it, and there is purpose now.

I’m not leading, I am led. The book is being written like a letter not from my outer, ego view, but more as if spoken from some inner voice and seen by inner eyes, uncontrived and unplanned. Whatever comes to me that rings true and real, I write it down. If it has value, it will stay. Everything else, eventually, will be discarded. These things take care of themselves. All of my poetry came this way – as gifts of grace, never as the product of conscious effort, craft, or intention. I trust the soundless voice that speaks, much more than I trust my own limited and confused intellect.

When I was in my twenties, an artist and a fledgling poet, I said to God “Make me your instrument.” Maybe God will finally do that, or maybe that’s the One who placed the desire there to begin with. Either way, the prayer has not really changed much as I have made my mistakes, learned, and relearned. By myself I can do very little of real importance or significance, but when I’m driven to the page by that unnamed voice, something clear and clean and beautiful emerges into the light of ordinary day. In that moment, the ordinariness, the stories, the simple truths of life become what they have always been, but unseen: they become sacred. My response to this can only be wonder, awe, and gratefulness.

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