Commitment

I think I have to start writing more, but it’s hard when my brain so often feels like mush. How do you will a brain to un-mush? I don’t have any good answer, except to draw on my experience weight lifting. . .through sinus issues and migraines, bad days and tears. If I waited to get better, I was never going to get better. And if I wait for my brain to get better, it will never get better. It, too, needs to be exercised to un-mush, just like my body.

I have been tempted multiple times to subscribe to EPF’s subscription website, but always stop at the price. If I can’t find the means to write regularly (the universal advice for improving writing), what good will a subscription service do me?

I did go so far as to take her “stages of writing” quiz, which said I was at the stage of a hostess looking for guests. Insert eye roll here. Yes, obviously, I have no readers. Would I like more of a community? Yes. That is naturally the draw of a “community” website.  But do I have energy to chase around a readership? No. I can barely write, never mind chase people around.

Which leads me to the other thing. . .do I really want to be a part of her subscription website? There is a part of me that digs in my heels. No. I am not looking to monetize. I just want to write. Writing as a grace. Writing as gift. Writing as a thing given. Not a business. Do I want to be published? Yes, because I want to be read, and I want to be worth reading. Not because I want to make money off of it.

I recognize that my digging in of my heels might be misty-eyed sentimentalism. I mean, I would rather go buy a typewriter and do it the old fashioned way. Really have to put some thought and effort into it, some care and consideration, not just bang out words on a digital screen and hit ‘post’ because no one will read it so what’s the point of making it better?

I say I want to write under the banner of ‘I am a child of God first.’ But then today I went to try to go start that site and completely choked. Who am I to write under that title? And how can I while my brain is mush? Surely I need something important to say first, and since I am a drooling mess today, how can I say anything important? This is not an unusual sensation to me; why do you suppose I have filled spiral bound notebook upon spiral bound note book, but choke repeatedly on anything that has a hard cover?

Partly, I think I need to get over myself and write for a more public audience, however I need to get there. Partly, I find myself confounded by my innate refusal to make money. I do PT, but I am angry that it is a fee-based service. Shouldn’t it be a ministry? What’s up with this, if you pay me money, then I will care for you? If you pay me money, then I will alleviate your suffering? How messed up is that?

But now I drag that in to writing, too. Write a book about being a child of God? How could that be a thing that you are allowed to make money off of? I mean, fiction, sure; a research treatise, ok. But if what you are claiming is that you are speaking of your experience seeking and serving the Divine, how on earth do you justify being paid for that? Doesn’t the very act of asking for money diminish the truth and power of the things you have to say?

But then the practical part of me says, look, you don’t get to do everything for free. How do you eat, get clothes, etc? But the idealist in me is annoyed, because when have those things ever helped me anyhow? Wouldn’t I do just as well, as they say, chasing a bean around the table?

Always and always and always I come back to that I do not want to do this alone. Any ministry. I don’t want to do it alone. But then who do I do it with? That brings me back to loneliness and community, and feeling alone and abandoned. Of course I want that solved. More, even than I want a ministry.

But what do I do with the in between? With the the feeling alone and needing to write and wanting community and not wanting my job and wanting land to sabbath on and someone to share my hopes and dreams and efforts with and make decisions with. . . Sure, I could work on showing up and writing. But if I look at problems with my analytical mind, the first problem is needing to find my people. And I am resoundingly too exhausted to attempt and better effort in that direction.

Part of my frustration is that my analytical self wants to fix things. But my spiritual self recognizes that it is not with in my actual power. And that confuses me as to what my posture should be. I’m waiting for the sky to split and the path to be announced by a pillar of light and smoke, but it seems like my life is more like Joseph in the dungeon, cooling his heels and wishing to be remembered.

Strategy and planning won’t help me. Analysis and prioritizing won’t really help me. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with these things, but they aren’t powerful enough tools to wrest control from God. (Real true wrestling doesn’t work, either; see also: Jacob.) But I’m so tired of turning around in the same place, and don’t know what to do instead.

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