Saturday, September 21, 2013

spend it all

It was the end of something and the beginning of something, and me sitting on our old chair, that in-between place, our dark living room after everyone is in bed and the house is quiet.

I am thinking about a page turned, trying to sift back and sort out and find something . . . what is it? Some lingering shadow I am needing to gather before moving on, before I can leave this good thing to go to another.

Why must I learn how to live always by looking back, after it is done? It is here that I can see the forest for the trees. It all is beautiful, looking back. 

Looking back I usually identify some guilt, some misgiving, some layer of doubt. I see the ways I failed at loving, opportunities missed.

Most of all I realize the question I am asking is, did I live fully? Did I give myself, fully? 

And maybe life gives us these small deaths to show us how to live.

I find myself for some reason pulling up my drafts for this blog, the pages written but never published. And there are good things here, I'm wondering why didn't I publish them? It was fear of course, or doubt or imagined perceptions. Why did I care?

And this is what I regret most, what I always will regret most. With every good-bye I have regretted most the things I could have said but didn't, the risks I could have taken but didn't, people I could have loved better but drew back.

I don't want to die with a bunch of unpublished drafts: unused talents, compliments unspoken, things hoarded that could have been given, false selves, timid hope, pathetic prayers, beautiful truths I'd grown skeptical of. Love tempered by self-protection. I don't want to wait until looking back to see the glorious goodness and potential in the people and place I'd been given.

Wisdom for writing, and life . ..

One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.”   ― Annie DillardThe Writing Life

Good words this week:

Surviving Whole Foods: Huff Post ----this made me laugh hard.

Why I Won't Let My Kids Have Cell Phones

Anne Lamott's facebook status

Thinking: The Sun Magazine

How to Stop Making Excuses: Glennon Doyle Melton for Woman's Day

Monet Refuse the Operation (love this) via Ruth

I Which I am Among the Spanish Oaks Again: Sarah Bessey.
Wake up, wake up, wake up, I would say. Look around you: you’re being broken here I know, but this is embarking point for your wilderness and in the wilderness he will be your God. You gathered everything you needed for the journey among the limestone and the bluebonnets.
Maybe healing stains backwards, in the same way that sorrow stains backwards through our lives.


Ruth said...

Thanks for the link! I love your blog, as always.

Tana Geiger said...

Amen, sister! I love reading your blog. You are true and so lovely. Thank you.