It is a strange day and time to restart a ritual – 8:35 am on the second to last day of January. I intend to write 500 words today, in this sitting, and hopefully to repeat this practice again tomorrow and the next day and the day after that and so on. (How hard can it be when I just repeat “and so on” ad infinitum?)
It feels like a strange time to restart since now is not the beginning of anything. I missed the New Year’s reboot time, and it’s not first thing in the morning, and today is Saturday, the end of the week. At the eleventh hour I begin hoping it’s not too late.
Too late for what? There hovers about me a sense of shapelessness, a formless meandering of my mind and spirit. Is this re-engagement a last ditch attempt to kick my flabby brain into a mental boot camp before its remains melt into cyber-fat?
I refuse to commit to giving up on all my apps and devices and habits that make an e-waste of my energy. Saying no is a bridge too far at this late hour. But what I can do is say yes to something else that might fill up and spill over and make those other distractions a distant memory.
I’ll say yes to 500 words a day. I can do that. Not 501. I know myself, always thinking I have to outdo the day before, and if I can’t, giving up. Not this time.
I’ll say yes to connection. My words will make their way out there into the world, and maybe form a bridge between brains. I will engage with the work of co-laborers in the field of creativity. Cool.
Yes to poetry. Of course, that’s an easy yes for me. But the hard yes is making a space for poetry in my physical world, not just in theory. I will throw away and sort out and tidy up for a purpose (not just because “I should be neater”) – to make room for writing.
Yes to reading something other/more than FB posts and tweets and murder mysteries. I will delight my mind with the works of new poets and great writers and challenging texts.
With all these Yeses, surely I will run out of time for other things. So I say Yes as well to prioritizing wisely, with prayer and consideration for what makes a joy-filled life and sustainable community.
I realize as I stumble through this word count today that the act of writing for me is an act of prayer. And the neglect of writing disconnects me from the Source of what shapes me. In this time of writing, I hear my Master’s voice so clearly leading me to something so much stronger than my futile attempts at avoidance. That “something” is still a ways off – the exact shape of things to come an unknown – but there is renewed strength in leaving the final outcome to Another.
I begin again.