I Write to Remember

Trying to begin this post is like turning the keys over on an old Buick on a bone-chilling winter morning. It’s sputtery. It’s plodding.

Every attempt feels like prayer, too. My breaths fume with desperate hope. This is odd, because my life is actually going well right now. Have you ever experienced a season where life hums and you don’t? When things feel clear, I suspect the whole world is a grand musical and I’m outside trying to figure out which flavor of Icee.

Here’s what I’m discovering: making beauty is mostly just about remembering, and brokenness is mostly just forgetting. When I write, I remember.

I remember how funny, how tragic, and how hopeful our lives are. I remember God is at play in the world with love both relentlessly careful and delightfully carefree. I remember that if I feel cynical, it’s because it’s just idealism facing a storm of questions. I remember the most important question I’ll ever ask is what love means right now, and elbowing myself back to that question is the most important spiritual practice I’ll ever engage. I remember that laughing is good, because being inconsistent and needy yet enough is a miracle only achieved through it.

When I don’t write-- which I haven’t consistently since school started-- I forget. I’m lost in a terrible storm of questions. I think about theology too much. (It’s kind of like people who study a poet or symphony for years: it makes people both delightful and frumpy, often at the same time.) I second-guess everything, and watching a History Channel marathon seems like the only safe thing to do.

Punchline: we all have things that make us remember what actually matters. Mine is writing. We all have things that make us forget. Mine are thinking too hard, binge-watching, and Twitter scrolling. We might not ever have jobs full of remembering, and we shouldn’t necessarily stop things that make us forget (as much as I’d like to FORGET my 25-page senior seminar paper, CAN I GET AN AMEN).

I wonder what it looks like for us to carve tiny spaces of things that help us remember, giving us the courage to look at all the other stuff with messy, magnificent love.


#writing #thegiftinside #creativity #stillaChristian #imagination