Creativity · Faith · Health · Mindfulness

A Holy Yes to Writing

I head downstairs to play piano. My fingers trickle over the keys for a while. The room is dark, the kids are asleep upstairs, husband is out with a friend. The house is mine.

What would happen if I played a B chord here instead of a G? What would it sound like if I played a D chord with this melody instead of a C? Playing piano is hypnotizing. I get lost in the sounds, forget about everything else for a while (I need to do this more).

I am no Mozart. Not even close. This was just for me, purely experimental. I noticed my attitude of exploration and how I wanted this to overflow into my writing. The desire to just explore, to wonder, to follow my heart. Free of judgment.

Writing is an adventure. It’s like sailing a ship into the fog with no destination and the only compass is the quiet whispering of your heart. Never else in my life have I needed to listen and trust my intuition so much. It is a beautiful, exciting, terrifying thing. You don’t know what you will discover, if anything at all. It involves a complete letting go of fear (or ignoring it for a time), and the desire to have all of the answers, and the guarantee of success. It requires you embrace uncertainty and assume the attitude of a beginner. Trusting in your curiosity and the things that give your heart a pulse. You have to embrace the slow, long route. There are no shortcuts.

But I keep on this path because, well, for so many reasons. I write because I like this adventure. I write because I have to. It has softened my heart, helped me be more open. I write because it’s the only time I truly listen to myself, and in writing I have learned to truly love myself. I write because I love this life and there are not many ways to make it slow down, to say thank-you for the so many small yet holy gifts we’re given. I write in honour of all those who have gone before me, family and not. As Natalie Goldberg says so beautifully:

We are important and our lives are important, magnificent really, and their details are worthy to be recorded. This is how writers must think, this is how we must sit down with pen in hand. We were here; we are human beings; this is how we lived. Let it be known, the earth passed before us. Our details are important. Otherwise, if they are not, we can drop a bomb and it doesn’t matter. . . Recording the details of our lives is a stance against bombs with their mass ability to kill, against too much speed and efficiency. A writer must say yes to life, to all of life…Our task is to say a holy yes to the real things of our life as they exist – the real truth of who we are: several pounds overweight, the gray, cold street outside, the Christmas tinsel in the showcase, the Jewish writer in the orange booth across from her blond friend who has black children. We must become writers who accept things as they are, come to love the details, and step forward with a yes on our lips so there can be no more noes in the world, noes that invalidate life and stop these details from continuing.”

For this, I say yes to writing.

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2 thoughts on “A Holy Yes to Writing

  1. So beautiful.

    Wish I could be a fly on your wall, or better yet on your couch, curled up under a blanket as your fingers make loverly sounds across those keys.

    Like

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