Friday, April 4, 2008

What Are You Tapping

I’m in the midst of revising a manuscript I’ve written on coming to faith as a child – much of it reflected upon and seen through the prism of my adult eye. Over a year ago, I thought it was finished and as an afterthought I sent it to a consultant. (If all you want is validation, there are cheaper ways to get it.) He listed many strengths that were in place, and then he let me have it. Boom. I had plenty of wonderful stories, but what was the point? He wanted me to go deeper into my faith, deeper into who is God as father, (and he not a man of faith himself!) but for a year it sat, until I picked it up again last December. I knew he was right. So some of the colorful neighbors may have to leave along with my mother’s Maytag wringer-washer – which caught a hank of her auburn hair and ripped it off her scalp.

Today I read, The greater the depth at which you tap your own personal truth, the greater relevance your writing will have to humanity.Gail Sher. Sometimes Zen Buddhists get it right. I’m afraid of finding an empty, meaningless shell at the core of my being. But that fear is a temptation to believe rot. I know God sits at the center of who I am and rather than making it my goal to be relevant to others, I prefer, I want, I need to write for his pleasure. All the time. And if it’s relevant to anyone else that’s just extra cream in my coffee. You know? Oh. And don’t ask when I’ll be done. I swear, if our income depended on the speed of my writing, we wouldn’t be starving, we’d be dead.

4 comments:

Alice said...

yes and amen to: "I know God sits at the center of who I am and rather than making it my goal to be relevant to others, I prefer, I want, I need to write for his pleasure. All the time. And if it’s relevant to anyone else that’s just extra cream in my coffee."

The lure of relevancy to self and others is so alluring when I am struggling with my lot in life. 'This is my truth; therefore it is truth.' Is this the fallacy? I ask this often as I am beginning to write about my experience with divorce in the church, and often, I too am much afraid of finding only myself at the core.

Maybe this fear is the 'good, right, and salutary' "fear of the LORD (that) is the beginning of wisdom." Psalm 111:9-10

Ransom Fellowship said...

complete reliance on self to tell all the truth is part of the fallacy. Or at least part of my fallacy. So it's kind of a paradox how we need unblinking honesty to look deep at ourselves, but if all I had was self to interpret and lead me to truth and wisdom I'd be, almost immediately, screwed. So I go that direction with you -- toward God.
mlh

Kayla Joy said...

mh"That fear is a temptation to believe rot"- I am continually tempted to believe the same: That if I truly dig in and write the truth, if I actually expose the depth of sin and pain and beauty, if I choose to not hide behind pretenses and empty "if-only's", then I am in fact feeding myself to The Lions. But the Truth that you spoke- that God sits at the center of who I am- that is the most relevant insight I have read in a long time. Maybe if I believe that, I can continue to write- or begin to write- with courage. And maybe even with hope.

Ransom Fellowship said...

kayla joy, please, do begin. I think hope is key. Even if it's hidden to others' eyes - it floats so much of life.