Saturday, March 31, 2018

Making space

A good Friday dream, following a beautiful, meditative interfaith service of worship. My prayer throughout the service was "Eyes on you, Jesus."

In my dream, I'm having dinner with Chrissy Teigan and John Legend (like you do) and John is asking me what I'm working on these days. I tell him about this book I've been working on - a historical novel about the sixteenth century.  I'm describing the hardship of those days, and while describing it, it comes alive - the cold, the hunger, the ever-present illness.  Then Chrissy has to go to an awards show, so she changes into her gown (God, she's so beautiful) and floats away while I go off to a writing retreat. 

It takes a while to find the door to the retreat house that my key will work in, but I do. I go to the room I have already selected and someone is in there.  She has set up a card table and her writing is spread out all over.  I feel like I should recognize her, but I cant remember her name.  
"Oh, hi Jennifer," she greets me not very warmly, "at this retreat we all like to have our OWN room." 
"Oh, ok, sorry." 
Meekly I take my items out of the room (that someone has shoved way behind the bed) and head down the long corridor, opening doors trying to find one that will have space for me.  They are all occupied. A few times I get settled, only to realize that there's no room after all, and then move on. There is a boarded up area that I'm pretty sure that I remember has some rooms in it but a sign warns about SUPER SPIDERS within.  I avoid it.  

I wake up from this dream with my shoulder throbbing and tears in my throat.  

Oh man.  I need to make more room and, maybe more importantly, I need to occupy the room I have.  Yes, it's hard to write and work and work out and be a mom and be a caregiver and be a wife and be a faithful child of God and be a friend and rehab a tender shoulder (not necessarily in that order). Yes, it's hard to make space - space in time and in psychic energy and just physically.  Yes, it's scary to start writing when I can't see in advance where it will take me. Yes, it's scary to keep writing when whatever I end up with will never be as genius Hamilton. Yes, it's all hard and scary. But it's not 1500's, digging-turnips-out-of-frozen-ground-so-I-dont-starve-and-anyway-I'm-likely-to-die-giving-birth-to-my-fourtheenth-child hard and scary.  

I have more time and opportunity and media and space to use my voice than any woman in history. Certainly more than my character did. And she managed to write songs and diatribes and sermons and letters and pamphlets - pages and pages and pages. (And those are just the pages that survived.)

Sometimes we pray and pray and pray and it seems like nothing happens.  And sometimes we pray "Eyes on you, Jesus" and wake up the next day knowing exactly the next step to take. Pen to paper, easy as that. Resurrection is coming.  New life is just around the corner.