“Write down the revelation.” – Habakkuk 2:2
“Everything in life is writable about if you have the crazy outgoing guts to do it, and the vivid imagination to improvise as you go. The worst enemy to creativity and excellence is ‘stuck-ness’ caused by self-consciousness and self-doubt.” – Sylvia Plath
I have not taken the time to write much as of late. And the quote above from Sylvia confronts me in this. I have just not had the “crazy outgoing guts to do it,” having allowed myself to settle into a “stuck-ness” caused by an unhealthy self-consciousness (cleverly disguised as a healthy self-awareness) and an debilitating self-doubt (cleverly disguised as humility).
I have some very good excuses for not writing much, all of which are unarguable and easily defendable, but I will spare you them, because, if you go but one thin layer underneath, this is not about that.
If my writing is about a selfless sharing of my life, and about the raw need to keep it real, and about my desire to improve on the truth that I have found in order to adopt what is truer, then there is no excuse that can satisfy my own spirit.
No one can “hold me accountable” to writing. There is no moral imperative they can appeal to, no literal life and death that they can point towards, nothing so detrimental about “not writing” that they can show me, no “job description” that I was hired to do that can be threatened. Not to mention that any effort at offering accountability for anything is more than easily dismissed by the one being “held.”
You can’t make an elephant move by saying it must, or should. The elephant must want to move.
And we are all elephants.
So I must do the work of wanting to write. I must be about the journey of attributing it some sort of value, if there is indeed any to be had. Any use that it has for others is nice, and sometimes encouraging. But that is not enough. Having a witness or two to my life interested just enough to read about it is important to most. But it’s not enough to keep writing either.
Ultimately, I have some lonely work to do that can only be done by myself and God.
He and I alone must wrestle about meaning. About life. About ease and suffering, and when each is called for. About potential vs. kinetic energy within me. He and I alone must wrestle. He against me, and me against me. I’m grateful that He and I are on the same side, because it will take both to subdue the part of me that is growing old enough to not care anymore. To not try anymore.
I don’t want to not care. And I don’t want to not try. But the gravity toward it is so strong. And I’m scared to mess something up, at this point, by acting too boldly.
You all get that this is not about writing, yes? I do. I totally get it.
But for me, today, it is the useful prop that God is using as a heart-excavating probe. You have one, too, if you’ll just have the guts to see it.
So I cannot speak for tomorrow… but today, when I didn’t feel like writing, I wrote. This is God and I warring against the part of me that would just as soon go about life doing the bare minimum, or just hurriedly meet the many demands coming my way so that I can justify myself from any sort of higher calling, or just do the house chores while watching TV and call it being a good husband while getting others to agree with me, and then calling it a day.
This is personal. It always is. I can write about it, but there is a part of it that cannot be shared. It can only be known, and explored, and exploited by me and God. It is our work to do. It is our battle against not caring. Against not trying. Against not dying before I actually die.
It is a battle against not loving.
May God help us.