Going to the Polls

In Speaking into the Silence on November 4, 2008 at 11:28 am

It was raining pretty hard this morning.  Although stormy skies are unusual for Southern California, I welcomed the rhythmic drizzle in memory of my mid-western roots.  Today marks one of the first critical elections during my life.  At least, this is the first election to which I have paid serious attention.  There are many levels to the conversation surrounding the candidates – at least Barack & McCain; some of the conversations are Republican/Democrat, Racial barriers, Age, Health, Policies, Comparison to the current administration, social issues, economic issues, etc.  And the list goes on.   I will vote this afternoon.

But enough talk about politics.  I have committed to writing one page of my book for about the next thirty days.  Man, that is a stretch!  I had no idea that creative activities could require discipline.  It requires that I stay focused on the story and my vision for it.  (My book perishes for lack of vision – spun off a proverb) On the one hand, it is good to be prepared to write and have the creativity stored up.  On the other hand, art seems a violent act of assertion.  It is Speaking in to the Silence.  James Taylor called it a ‘Daring Daylight Escape’.  I like that.

In a sense, writing does require an act of courage.  I am stepping out of oppression and exploding with words and ideas and pictures.  I resist the explosion though.  I don’t like how it appears.  I would prefer that the words are carefully selected and crafted.  I would prefer not to revise, not to edit, not to change.  But, the truth is, I need to get it out first.  I can tailor and refine and correct later.  But, for now I must get it out.

My attempts are not without structure.  I have a backbone for the story.  A chronological list of plot cards (3×5 index cards).  I use these as a reference point.  Then, I write.  So far, writing has taken me to sequeces and characters that I don’t necessarily like.  But, they are needed.  I must include them.  I must overcome my resistance to the story not showing up in the way I would like.  To do this, I must be bold.  Each keystroke is an act of courage; each word a deliberate act of defiance against fear.

This courage is evident in my relationships too.  Really caring about someone or something requires boldness.  To be in someone’s life is an act of daring.  I have been engaging people in very deep conversations lately.  My attempt is to express concern about their hopes, their fears, their dreams.  For the purpose of standing with them as they walk toward their dreams (if that is what they want).  Not surprisingly, we are often met with resistance.  It is just like that with my writing.  There is a required assertion.  If I hold back, waiting for ideas to come and contriving the ‘perfect’ wording, I may never write.  That has been the truth for me up until now.

But, on the other hand, I could step boldly out into a daring new vision, that could cost me everything.  Would that be worth it?  I think so!  It must be a big enough vision to capture me though.  So, whether you vote today or not, can I encourage you to step boldly into your vision?  Will you stand with me as I take risks to write this book each day?  Whether in art, or business, or relationships or faith; God has given you the power and the resources to walk in your vision too.

  1. “Where there is no vision the people perish,” one of my favorite proverbs. As I continue to read through all for your writing I have been inspired to do the same. I can’t say that I have the boldness you possess. I definitely have to commend you on taking this step in your life and for your mate whom God has blessed you with to remain faithful to you and your endeavors. Just know that you have impacted my life for the better. I will stand iwth you and take risks and step boldly into the vision that was given to me. Thank you

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