Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Palatte of My Pages. . .

Whenever I finish an email or an article or what ever you want to call my little messages, I wonder if I will again ever write anything. It seems so very mysterious to me and so very removed from my will. . . I have no control over it. I cannot sit down and just manufacture something to write about. I try that at times. When I seem dry and the urge to put my thoughts on paper comes, sometimes I try to force it and write without inspiration. It doesn't work. I have many false starts. I spend much time praying for God to allow me to create something beautiful. . . . I pray and I wait. . . I know that when the time is right, that when I begin I will have enough steam (if you can think of it that way) to complete what I have started. I don't know where I am going to end up when I put the first word to paper, but when the time is right I never have to agonize over not having enough to say, but my problem is more one of keeping the river of my thoughts directed in one channel and not wandering over all of creation like some mental spring flood tide.

Jackie and I went away this weekend. Usually that is a very fruitful time for me to write. The combination of a long drive in the car, with time to meditate and pray coupled with long lazy afternoons of Bible reading and devotions usually will predictably inspire me into being able to write something. It was not that way this trip. I tried the things that usually work to no avail. . . nothing came.

I wrestle with not knowing how this works. Think about it, it is like you are a major league baseball player. Baseball is your passion. In many ways it is your life and yet all you know about it is that you walk up to the plate, close your eyes, and swing the bat. Somehow you hit the ball and get on base. . . sometimes a home run. . . sometimes a lowly single. . . but you have no idea of what happens between the closing of your eyes and the crack of the bat. You have no idea of how to fix it if you were in a slump. You have no idea as to what to attribute it to if you hit a dozen home runs in a row. . . It is all faith. You just walk to the plate, bat in hand. . . There is nothing else to do. . .


It comes to me that one of the reasons that I am able to write is that in ways I feel things in an exaggerated way over what other people may experience. I at times greatly wrestle with depression. A couple of times a year a dark cloud hangs over me, twice a year for weeks on end. I also at other times am blessed with an enthusiasm that others are not often given to experience. This is just me. This is the palette of my pages. . . If I am able to write at all, it is possible maybe only because I have been given deeper and richer colors of emotion than many other people. I can write of darkness out of my intimacy with caves and black holes. I can write of the splendor of vibrancy and passion as I experience those on a regular basis also. That is just me. . . I do not know that there is much that I can do to alter that part of me. . .

To wish to write. . . to pray to God to be able to create, is to be asking Him for vivid colors of emotion to convey. This can be of wonderful golden purple sunsets. . . or it can be of the starkly dark landscape of the dank shadows of midnight. . .Either are equally stark, vivid and material offering possibilities of creation. . .

My sister called me weeping this afternoon. . . it has been 2 1/2 weeks since our Mother's death, surely you must be thinking, enough time to have recovered her. . . our composure. . . but I too, while the past weekend was restorative, am still very much in a battle. . . For both my sister and I this is a difficult time of year. I usually have dark times in October and March, but it can easily vary a month or so either way. I think this is what is going on for both of us. . .

My sister was weeping. I haven't wept for a couple of weeks now, but today I have been feeling just awful. . .I can only compare it to my days of drinking. I feel like I am hung over. I have a dull headache. I have this pervasive fear within me. It is very real. It very much reminds me of times when I have been so drunk that I couldn't really remember what I had done the night before and I had a awful aching fear in the pit of my gut that I had done something horrible, committed some horrible sin, some terrible black crime that I could not remember. . . I have that same feeling of doom about me today.


I feel like I am accused of something that I'm not sure that I did not commit. I question everything about myself. I question my sincerity toward God. I question my faith. . . my salvation. . . I feel great shame. . . over what? I do not know. . . I do not set and weep for my mother. I do not sit and weep at all and yet somehow this must be related to her death. I have no idea why I'm writing these things, but that in some way I believe that God has given me an ability to write and He has given me this experience to write about. For me to write without deeply felt emotion is pointless and the emotions that I am having right now, are if nothing else, deeply held and of stark and vivid color. . . .

Whether anyone wants to read about such a landscape as I am viewing now, is unknown to me, but I can only write about those things that I know. I cannot write about the exotic black lava sand beaches of Hawaii or the mysterious ancient ruins of Greece. I have no firsthand knowledge of them. I can only write of what I know. . . I do not want sympathy. I am not looking for pity. . . I am looking for a way out of this darkness and please. . . in a way writing is a help to me. . .

I know that God is the light that I need and when I worship. . . when I pray. . . when I meditate on His word, the darkness recedes. I know in which direction that the light is in. I have a compass that points me in the right direction but right now the minute the prayer, the praise, the meditation stops the clouds come rolling back in. . .

My sister calls me every day. She tells me that it makes her feel better, even knowing that I am fighting the same battle as she. My mother's stroke brought my Mom and I very much closer in the last eight months of her life than we had been in 40 years or more. . . The battle that my sister and I now share, is bringing us closer then we have been in a similar amount of time. . . It is forging a bond between us that smooth seas and sunny skies would never have required. . .


I love you my God. . .
If possible my Lord, shine your light even brighter that I might see you through my storm. . .

Dave Stokely

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was search for something to read to sooth my aching thoughts....I read yours...thank you