Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Important Thing...


Sweet Yellow Clover
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
Here lately at church, we've had different people offering their thoughts on "The Important Thing..." What's important to them in their lives? Today's answer came from our own Kate Sanders, who wrote...

The important thing about writing is to put the pen on the paper. I realize this at 10:02 pm the night before, after having two weeks to think of what the important thing is.

I have always resisted answering questions where I have to pick only one correct answer. I hate multiple-choice questions. I am always second guessing the obvious choice or thinking of reasons that the others could also be true. I much prefer an essay question where I can just say what I know. So THE important thing has had me stymied for two weeks.

And yet when I finally put the pen on the paper, I write, “The important thing about writing is to put the pen on the paper.” And it is absolutely true. In every writing class I have had, I think, my instructor has said, “Just write.” If you worry about exactly what is going to come out, you will never get started. And if you edit yourself as you go, you’ll never get to the end. You have to write first then come back and edit after you have actually gotten something down on paper. This is the method that has always worked best for me—when I follow it.

I think that, as with writing, there are so many things where you just have to begin. Any kind of discipline, whether it be running, dieting, reading everyday, cleaning the house, a spiritual discipline—whatever it may be—you just have to begin. You don’t have to know where it is going—have every detail planned out—you just have to begin. And usually that is the most difficult part.

I feel like I waste so much of my life waiting for the conditions to be “just so” to begin. I get so caught up I the unending daily tasks that sometimes I feel I rarely give attention to those things that really make me feel whole—playing music, writing, spending focused time with my kids.

I wrote—one of the few times I have actually put the pen on the paper lately—I began what may become a song or may remain another slip of paper to keep in my writing folder.

The Things You Think You Have to

Sometimes I wake and find myself
Getting caught up in the wheels
My life’s running on, I’m just getting through it
With no room to really feel

My life is slipping through my fingers
Like so much running water
I’ve not taken time to read with my son
Or play with my baby daughter

I’ve got to begin to hold on tight
To what I mean to do
Lord, save my from the sinking blue
Of the things you think you have to


So I guess the important thing for me is to begin. Not to wait “till I get through this week” or “feel less tired” or “the weather’s not so hot” or whatever—don’t let the daily routines of life keep you from what is life giving to you. I am writing You, but of course I am meaning Me also. I worry that I will just waste my life getting through each day and never really live in the present moment.

So, the important thing is to begin—to begin to really live.

1 Comments:

At 6/9/08, 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey All, Cindy here (from Jerusalem!) Sorry I missed hearing this, but am so glad you posted it. It's beautiful, Kate!
Love, love, love.

 

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