So, here I sit again in front of those sheers on the window that soften the view. Write without a purpose or goal in mind, my writing teacher, Jack, instructed. How does that work? Especially when the mind is always thinking, moving from subject to subject. I don’t know that I get this exercise, God. How do I write with no goal or agenda? Do I write the random thoughts that lead to whole other subjects? Do I write the ongoing conversations that you and I have throughout the day? Do I write the goals for the future? The fears? The frustrations? The hopes?
If I have to get Jack’s book out to look at the example again, isn’t that writing with a purpose? And, since I’ve spent the last few years thinking about stories and plots and characters and writing them, how does that get turned off?
I was just preparing for tomorrow, for the class I help teach on Sunday’s. It was all about listening to God’s Spirit speaking to my spirit. How do I have all that in my head and not write about something specific?
Meanwhile, Mother is in the other room burping. Loudly. It’s the GERD reaction to what she eats. I’ve explained to her several times that’s why she has a hard time swallowing, getting medication down, taking all the vitamins and supplements I want her to take so that she can be at her best. She’s determined to eat what she wants so I drive her crazy with my reminders about GERD. She complains about her GERD symptoms, which drives me crazy.
Ok, now there I go, telling a story. Or am I just embellishing or explaining a small thought into full-fledged sentences and story lines? I’m not sure I get this process.
So, how do I do this? If this is just a journal of what’s happening in my head, then it’s a writing down of thought processes that always lead back to you, God. Because I don’t like dwelling on any thought, fear, hope, joy, whatever, without bringing it back into context of how it fits into You, God. For me, that’s what pulls all of life together. Knowing that there’s a bigger picture than I can see, but taking joy in the knowledge that it’s like the backside of an intricate, detailed tapestry.
Lots of random threads that seem to go nowhere, colors intermingled, some tiny stitches overrun by long, bold stitches, everything seemingly unorganized. But, when the tapestry is turned around, there is a beautiful scene or portrait that couldn’t have been planned or designed by me, yet it’s there and every now and then I get a glimpse of the beauty that is being made through the pain and struggle, or during the inane and boring, or the frustrating and difficult.
Hold that thought. Mother is calling from the other room to come turn off the ceiling fan over the dining room table.
It’s another hot day and the A/C can do just so much to take the heat off the house. Personally, I’d be happy with fans in every room, but the medication Mother takes for high blood pressure and huge edema in her feet and legs, lowers her blood pressure and with it her body temperature so that she’s always chilled. And accusing me of trying to freeze her out when it 78 degrees inside the house. Good thing I’m beyond hot flashes or we’d really go at each other in frustration.
So, now the fan is off, the orchid is watered and I can return to the keyboard and she can return to trying to stay awake. I read the other day that the curse of the elderly is spontaneous sleeping. Mother and I laughed over that because it’s true and she is always trying to stay awake. Or maybe I laughed and Mother frustratingly agreed it was true.
Mother’s calling again. It seems the water that I just gave the orchid was too much because it’s running out of the pot. Good thing I put the pot on the table before I watered it so that it has a long way to run before it runs off the edge of the table. Mother, of course, is sure that I’m about to flood the dining room. It only takes three paper towels to sop up the excess and Mother is mollified. Somewhat, anyway.
She and I have two different outlooks on the world. Yin and Yang. I tell her that her glass is always half empty and she tells me no, it isn’t, her glass is cracked and the liquid is oozing out the bottom. Totally agree with that!
Daddy’s glass was always bubbling up and the excess running over the top. How in the world did her live with her for sixty-one years and not lose his excess? How did he retain his equilibrium and provide enough for her as well? Well, I know the answer to that. I’ve never known anyone who loved God more and spent more time with God daily than he did. To me, that proves it. God has to be big because he’s bigger than Mother’s pessimism.
Which brings me back to the whole point of a journal. For me, anyway. It’s reaffirming, with every rabbit trail, every thought, every distraction, that God is big. Big enough to get me through. And, thankfully! To get me through with excess bubbling over the top of my glass instead of leaking out the bottom.