#FMF – Alone

joining up to write on ONE word for FIVE minutes over at Kate’s site 😉 a wonderful group of people gather together once a week to just throw away perfectionist tendencies (okay that might just be me) and write freely whatever happens to pour upon the page. Check it out.

alone

its a funny thing…the assumptions made about aloneness. Or perhaps i’m thinking of singleness. and perhaps its only in my head that these two words are synonymous.

it doesn’t happen quite so often anymore, but when I was younger I would often receive the beffudeling questiong ‘Why is a great girl like you not married or at least in a relationship?’ and I would kind of gape with my lack of response, because really does that require a legitimate response.

‘well now, let me see…there are so many possibilities…and i’m not sure what one might be the correct answer. so you see…no i’m not sure why i’m single or alone right now…but you know what that’s just how life is for me right now.

And then i’d start to think about the question and whether they meant it or not it would seem to imply that i’m not fulfilling all that i can be without someone else. and that i can’t move on in life or truly experience all that life has to offer unless i’m in a relationship possibly heading towards marriage.

and i reject that. i reject that profusely. Because i am a women that God has given gifts to. He has called me to be used by Him in special and specific ways that do NOT depend on my singleness or the fact that I might be alone right now. In fact in some sense, I feel a kind of freedom (or I say i do) because I am not having to think about anyone else when I consider what might lay ahead. I can go anywhere, do anything…because I’m not tied down or responsible for/too anyone else.

I am attempting to see my role in life. I am attempting to see what He has called me to. And I reject any notion that I need to be in a relationship or heading towards marriage to really come into what God’s created me to be or for.

END

five minute friday

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On Being a Writer – Surround

The idea is notto live forever,but to(1)

I have been a hoarder of ideas and words for as long as I can remember. I have a fear of forgetting things, so perhaps that is part of that. So I’ve taken copious notes in class (sometimes almost verbatim of what the teacher says) and I’ve tried to write down on slips of paper and in notebooks along the way, information that I thought may be useful one day or had spoken to me.

I’m not sure when it began, but I also began to write in my books (marginalia). It happened when there were books that ignited some reaction in me, something that I had to interact with (I believe that the first on that I really recall doing this was one of Noam Chomsky’s books). I have a great love for the discussion of politics, North American politics and foreign policy, so I had much to reflect on and react to in this book.

“Writing requires a flow both inward and outward of ideas, thoughts and stories. Each time I write an essay or an article, I gather together everything I know, think and experience about the topic, sorting and synthesizing, squeezing together bits of if inspiration and searching for just the right combination of words.” Charity Singleton Craig

I am a collector of things of beauty. A piece of fabric that catches my attention, a lotion that smells speaks of beauty to me, picture frames with my dear ones inside, letters from friends, collages that i’ve crafted and prints i’ve purchased that have spoken to me. In some ways they are inspiring to me, because they inhabit the space in which i now find myself. I live in my room at my parents house and my of ‘my’ things are in my room. There are prints on the walls, though not as many an I’d like. Some of the lovely fabric is hidden away for ‘later’ and many of my scented items are hidden away because my mom is allergic to many scents. So perhaps in some way this is stifling my creativity right now. I’m still creative, but don’t have these items readily available to glance at and be inspired by.

“Stephen Kings says, ‘Reading is the creative center of a writer’s life.’ I believe it. I carry these words, these stories, these ideas and styles in me and they contribute to an ongoing, internal conversation that inspires and influences my writing life.” Ann Kroeker

The one thing that I can’t get enough of is reading. I have numerous blogs that I attempt to follow (mostly because I get lost in the beauty of the words and the vulnerability of their stories.) I have copious amounts of books on my Kindle (much to my chagrin i have indeed fallen prey to the e-book movement, but it is cheaper and i can have so many books on a little piece of technology.) Often if I enjoy a book immensely (ie. underline almost the entire thing) I will buy it in softcover form to further interact with it in writing.so much of what I’ve been reading lately has been written by individuals that I know personally or know of, and its been fascinating to read things that give a bit of background to what i’ve already read by them. I was also blessed to be part of a writing group last year, and was introduced to the writing of Natalie Goldburg (Writing down to the bones) and Marion Roach Smith (The Memoir Project), both of whom I’ve invested much time in perusing and interacting with on the page.

Two places that I’ve been constantly inspired and challenged to think and respond are the following resources:

Brainpickings  has all kinds of information on authors and books that you might not have heard of but are fascinating none the less. Its much like Wikipedia for me, you can get lost in all the amazing information, clicking from one article to the next. I love it.

also Claire De Boer who I discovered with her involvement with the online magazine SheLoves. Claire has a wonderful writing site , which has numerous articles that have inspired me to share my story and also how to work through some of the things keeping me from sharing.

on being a writer

Silencing My Own Voice

I couldn’t believe I had heard her right.

I stopped breathing for what seemed like forever, but it was only a couple seconds I’m sure.

I was thankful for her vulnerability. For her desire to share her story.

But those words from her mouth, seemed to catch in my own throat.

I wanted to whisper, ‘me too’, in fact, i wanted to shout it. But i kept my mouth closed. I didn’t say a word. I just kept listening to her share.

and my own story filled my veins. And my own pain. And my own attempted reaction to control it.

And the interesting thing is. She isn’t the only one. While her words were exactly mine that I couldn’t voice, another friend had texted me several weeks earlier also sharing her heart.

And my soul ached to read what she’d written. And i was full of answers and good advice. But the thing was, the exact same words she had written to me were what I am struggling with, but don’t like to share with anyone. Because I don’t’ want to be convicted. Because I don’t want anyone to tell me I’m wrong. Because I don’t’ want to admit that this is an area that I definitely can’t control myself.

and so I write her back. And I encourage her. and the girl who spoke those words that seemed to speak my story, i think about what she said over and over again, but don’t say a think to her. To encourage her, to say me to. I just let those words hang out in the open. And wish that I could bring myself to share those wounds as well.

Perhaps it seems easier being silent. Being the one with the answers, but the stopped up mouth when it comes to sharing my own struggles or my own pain.

#FMF – Find

Joining up with Kate and the other writers for what I’ve heard described as a flash mob of writing on ONE WORD for FIVE MINUTES, unedited and with your mind just flowing out through your fingers. When you’ve posted link up and then check out some of the other offerings and extend some encouragement/creative feedback if you will. So fascinating to see how one word can engage people in such different ways. Write on.

(and if you want to during the week you can join up at Kate’s place as well for the series ‘On Being a Writer’ by Kroeker and Craig. Its been fascinating and a great discussion series so far.)

find

there is alot of talk about people finding themselves. Often this requires going away from the place that you are in now, to a place that perhaps you aren’t known, you’ve always dreamed of going, or somewhere that just inspires and you think it might be easier to hear the Spirit speak or listen to those words your soul has been trying to push to the forefront but you haven’t been able to hear in the chaos.

I always find for me that getting out of the city is a good start. I’m so blessed to own a car of my very own. I am so thankful that I can just drive out of the city if I wish (after working of course) and just set off for a place of quite. Sometimes this place is the beach. Sometimes this place has been my friend’s home with apartment attached. Sometimes this place has just been a park in another town that I find. But most usually its out of town.

However just a week or two ago, I found my way to the ponds area here in town, smack dab in the center of the city, a piece of land that used to be used more but has since been made into park land and I parked under a willow, opened my windows, sipped on my iced tea and read on my Kindle for an hour. It was absolutely soul refreshing. And for me, I think that if there is anything that I’m searching to find these days, its that.

The word rest popped up in Instagram last week and even reading it in my head caused a huge soul sigh. It was like i was being filled up, in places that i didn’t even know were empty, but i went from being deflated to being full of a peace that is indescribable. And pictures of water and actually being by the water do that for me to. When I’m experiencing a lot of chaos in life or just have things floating in my head that I can’t work through, I often head for the beach just to have some time to be quiet and to process. I’m blessed that there is a beach just an hour away and its beautiful and one of my fave places in the summer.

END

On Being A Writer – Arrange

The idea is notto live forever,but to(2)

Its been awhile since I had a space of my own to claim for writing. These days the only accessible and available spot is the coffee table in our living room. I’m sure that moving the laptop between my room and the living room makes my mum frustrated sometimes, but my desk is full of things right now and it doesn’t ideally suit me for writing.

Having the computer readily accessible I find myself easily distracted by all the things I feel I need to read here on the internet, rather than sitting to write down to what I need to do. Strangely, if i were to go somewhere else to write… I would get distracted by all the people and sounds around me. This would also drain me, so I know better than to do that for myself. Although I think about it, and dream about what I’d ideally find myself working in. A small quiet space, with just enough light through the window, a comfortable desk and a cup of coffee or something sweet on the desk to sip on. At the moment its only in my imagination.

I find myself often inspired by words that jump off the page from someone else’s writing or things that I’ve heard that I have a strong reaction to. However, i generally don’t have a consolidated place to keep track of all these thoughts. i started writing my version of a bullet journal and its been a wonderful place to at least keep track of what I’ve been writing. There are still little snippets that I’ve missed out on…but I”m trying to make more of an effort to wrangle those thoughts on the page as well for later perusal.

“There isn’t any ‘right’ way to do such intensely personal work (as writing). There are all kinds of writers and all kinds of methods and any method that helps people say what they want  to say is the right method for them” – William Zinsser

As far as setting aside personal time to declare as writing time, at the moment I just have Thursday night set aside for the #fmfparty that takes place on Twitter and then the subsequent reading and writing that takes place after the prompt. I’ve not set aside any block of time throughout the week to specifically work on something that I’ve been thinking about. In fact, I’ve written much less in the past 6 months then I have previously. I’m not sure what has happened to my muse, she seems to have taken a hiatus. but mostly, I’m sure that its fear that has captured both my tongue and my writing.

Perhaps if I was to set aside particular moments of each day to sit down and at least write something down, anything down…I would work baby steps at moving towards opening myself up to share more of myself on here. I’m not sure. There have been so many thoughts I want to work through and I come to the page ready to work it through, and that is how I do work through life, through words, spoken or written. And these days I find it easier to hash things out with a couple close friends, perhaps because I know that there won’t be rejection for my thoughts. perhaps that is what I fear most. Being rejected. And that has caused me to be uncomfortable. And thus no matter where I find myself or what space I arrange for myself, until I work at being comfortable with my voice, with me…it might not matter how I arrange my work space or my day, because I’ll still not be moving forward.

“How we spend our days, is of course, how we spend our lives” – Annie Dillard

On Being a Writer – Identity

The idea is notto live forever,but to(3)

One day, a friend that I met a couple of years ago at a retreat, started playing around with ink and watercolor and just happened to share the results on Facebook. I couldn’t believe that this picture I saw before me was something that she had just sketched out and then started painting. it was wonderful.

I put in the suggestion that if perhaps she wanted to sell some prints one day I’d be more than happy to help her out. She developed a couple other lovely prints and then began to sell them. Eventually, she used the money raised to get to Allume, a fantastic conference in the south. The print was a typewriter with the words ‘Writer’ fleshed out in typeset above it. It spoke to me about things that could be, about a word that I wished I could claim whole-heartedly.

“Questions fly when we wonder what to call ourselves. After the questions and the doubts come, hopefully so do the words.” – On Being a Writer; Kroeker & Craig

At the retreat where I attended several years earlier with this same girl, I had been seated at a table beginning to eat lunch and overheard a conversation that took place across the table from me. Two of the ladies had met previously at another conference and they were reintroducing themselves to one another. The one lady said, ‘I found your card the other day. And it brought me to tears. Because on the one side in bold letters you have the word ‘Writer’ and I so wanted to be able to claim that name. And so I have put your card up in front of my desk and each time I find myself listening to the lies about my writing, I look at your card and I claim that word and I begin to write.’ By the time she had finished this short paragraph I was in tears across the table…also because they had tears on their cheeks as well. I knew this heart cry. I knew this desire for something that would get me past the lies to the truth.

Several weeks later I received the print in the mail. She had done a beautiful job and decorated the outside of the envelope and inside the print was wrapped in some tissue paper and some rustic string. I couldn’t bring myself to open it. I set it on the shelf, with the words peaking through, just enough the let me see them, but to not have to let them influence my life too much. I was afraid. Afraid of opening the package and claiming the words that were there.

One day I expressed these fears to a friend. She challenged me with the following:
You write. You’re a writer. Just because you don’t write in a certain platform doesn’t matter. You write because God’s called you. There is something in you need to write. My writing looks different than other people. Frame that picture and put it up and CLAIM IT!”  – Kris Camealy

I took my print off the shelf, tucked it under my arm and marched myself over to Winners (like TJMaxx) and found myself a frame. And I put that print in the frame and then hung it up on the wall…right next to my bed. I see it when I wake up in the morning and when I got to bed at night.

And to be honest, it still seems to be something that gets under my skin. Because there are times that I don’t have a problem saying that ‘I write’ but saying ‘I’m a writer’ just seems so much harder to get past my lips. I think it’s because I am in awe of so many amazing blessings that I have in the writing of friends who are around me. I know some insanely gifted people. And yet what my friend said IS true…i don’t write like anyone else but me. i have been given words by God to work through my life, to share my thoughts with others, to ponder what is happening in this world and to learn things from others and there is nothing wrong with that. Just because my words don’t look like others, that doesn’t mean I don’t have the writer bone in me, the writer blood in my veins, the writer thoughts in my mind just chomping at the bit to be put down whether through keys or writing.

on being a writer

joining up with those over at Kate’s to walk through this book together. ‘On Being a Writer’ by Ann Kroeker and Charity Craig

#FMF – Learn

joining up with my fave writing crew over at Five Minute Friday hosted on the lovely Kate’s blog.

Write for five minutes on one subject. Just let the words flow. Then join the link up and read what other people have been inspired to share about. its as easy as that! love this community.

learn

prompt: LEARN

I love to learn. I’m always voraciously reading and writing down quotes and following links. sometimes there are what seem like a 100 tabs open on my computer (tried that once, i didn’t work out well…crashed the computer) but I digress.

if i could, i would go to school for the rest of my life. I have decided that there should be a program where people test out college and university programs on people for free just to get their courses up to spec. I mean free learning and some free feedback, sounds like a win-win for me. not so with institutions that seem to require money to run and governments that feel that people must pay to learn these things.

i hope to continue to learn for the rest of my life. sometimes i am concerned that perhaps my mind will not be able to retain all the information i’ve learned but strangely it seems to file it all away because at the most bizarre moments random information will jump into my mind. there is a guy at work who is always sharing seemingly useless facts with us though sometimes, much to my chagrin, they are fascinating.

if you want to know something about random history, you just ask him. I have a bizarre knowledge base. I love a wide variety of things, and while i may have a deep knowledge of somethings, I also have a broad knowledge that is much more shallow but unique. One thing that makes me swoon is nice cars, which are usually at the same time fast. There are very few things that will make my heart race like a beauty of a car.however if you talk to me about more than the shape of the car or its maker, i’m at a loss and most other conversations are like speaking in another language.

In another way i’m also fond of animals, mostly dogs, but I do like most farm animals as well and have a special relationship with horses. sometimes when i’m working the drive-thru and there are animals in the car i’ll exclaim over them and start talking to them forgetting that there are humans in the car who would like to receive their drinks and perhaps a bit of attention from me. it is one of my many quirks.

ENDfive minute friday