Monday, January 28, 2013

Writing, freely

This weekend, I went on a fantastic women's retreat with my North Carolina church. We focused on the concept of storytelling: My Story, Our Story, God's Story. (The one and only Tracy Radosevic was our speaker. Check her out!) During our free time on Saturday, I got the chance to lead a free writing session centered around storytelling. I'd read out a prompt, and we'd write for 2 or 3 minutes on the topic, whatever popped into our heads. Here are a few of mine, for a cloudy Monday morning. 

I've heard that song before. It reminds me of nights at youth group with carefree high school friends, of the flexible freedom of crisp fall days, the mornings of donut holes and milk in Sunday school, the peace of a post-church nap. The sun on the floor of the living room never shines as brightly or boldly than those lazy 3 p.m.s spent curled up.

*

My life is made up of seconds - ones that go quickly and others that seem to last forever. I miss way too many of them in the midst of - living? or forgetting to live? How does this life thing work, after all? I feel knotted up so much of the time and so many seconds are passing as that happens. How do I pay attention?

*

[Describe a place, real or imaginary.]

My great-uncle's beach house is yellow and crinkly with six decades of windbeaten salt air and sandy footprints... The bay is moving but still, because it has watched us for years and years. It has watched me grow from child to adult.

*

I feel God in the funniest places sometimes - like the other day when I was SO stressed out with everything I couldn't see straight - except then, wait, I COULD - suddenly I could see through the grime of daily routine and to-dos and I felt a blip of peace - it will all get done, it's not the end of the world... And I knew there was something pulling me above to breathe, if only for a moment.

*

It was a remarkable experience. The feelings of that surreal weekend in Detroit will live within me forever. I hate that I think of it less on a daily basis now, but when I truly think on it, the butterflies in my stomach come back, and the beauty, the simplicity of cheering on my basketball team in the midst of our transported community and thinking, this is how the world is supposed to be. The cheering, the support, the friendship, the adrenaline. It was overwhelming and so much bigger than any one of us and we knew that. That's what made it so special.

*

I am most myself when... Well, it's hard to say, really. Is it when I am surrounded by people and mingling and talking, like my dad loves to do and passed on to me? Or is it my quieter, contemplative side that Mom gave me, when I am alone in my house, humming as I brush my teeth, savoring the calm? I think I have - maybe not a number of selves, but many ways in which my one self is fully expressed.

*

For me, home is a fireplace with dogs curled up nearby, and family. It is the jokes of my family, the many stories we tell over and over again. And it is my sweetheart's face, who, long ago, used to be a stranger to me, and now I know and love him so well. It never ceases to amaze me how homes can be created from nothing... 

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