“You tell us, Lord, that some shall see visions and others shall dream dreams. Give us courage to share our visions and our dreams with one another. Amen.” —Enuma Okoro, Reluctant Pilgrim
Tonight I finished reading Enuma Okoro’s memoir. I finished it in five days and am sorry to the Pikes Peak Public Library because I make some small marks in it with a pencil. I promise to go through and erase each one after I write down the quote on that page.
The reason I had to mark this book was because I found myself relating, not only to Enuma’s story, but to her longings and to her ability to weave so many of her thoughts and dreams and doubts into one place.
I have wanted to do this for a long time. Too long. Earlier today I randomly found an old e-mail where I told a friend I needed to write a memoir. For my girls primarily. (Anyone remember I had that thought a few weeks ago?)
The e-mail was dated over two years ago. And I can say the compulsion to put my life onto the page has been there a lot longer than that. I think since 2006. Seven years. Seven!
I think it’s now gotten to the point where I am disobeying God by not at least starting—by not showing up to this particular project. I have been putting it aside because I was afraid of appearing arrogant or something by at least writing it all down. Do you hear that word afraid?
What have I spent the last few years doing if not getting over my fear of the blank page? I know that there will always be a little fear when that cursor blinks but I have also found the courage to discipline myself beyond that point. I think. For crying out loud I regularly encourage others to do the same.
And the beginning of Lent this week provided some much needed space by my choosing to give up a particular aspect of my life that has kept me looking at other people’s stories instead of writing out my own. Yes, I know we’re only two days past Ash Wednesday. God is working quickly on me this year, I guess. I wonder what the next six weeks will bring….(I’d say I’m scared but we’ve already been over this fear thing, and I did survive a full year in Kansas.)
Adding to my belief that this project needs to happen is the fact that I have been going through The Artist’s Way. I’m about a third of the way through and find that her words affirm many things that I have wrestled with and even maybe some aspects I’ve overcome. I say that in the sense that God has walked me through a path of overcoming, when I wasn’t even aware that I had taken that many steps within the creative life.
So, it’s time. It’s the season. The blank page beckons. And I know that is no small thing. For usually it mocks me.
I will answer and remain open to the movement of the One who calls, the One who is faithful to help me at least start.
“It’s not brave if you’re not scared.” –Bounce
“…I don’t like people telling other people they shouldn’t write about their life. All of us earn that right by being born; one of the deepest human impulses is to leave a record of what we did and what we thought and felt on our journey.” –William Zinsser, “The Right to Write”