Friday, March 13, 2015

how broken hearts still beat

Not that I'm complaining, but things haven't always been easy for me.

For example, I survived med school back in the days when women in medicine were considered freaks of some sort.

I worked, and still managed to raise three children in my spare time.

I ran a clinic in the African bush in a tent without electricity or running water.

What then, I ask, is so hard about writing a book? I have everything I need for it--dark chocolate, strong coffee, and red wine. Peace and quiet. Time on my hands.

Nevertheless, making progress on my WIP has been like slogging through quicksand.

It's swallowing me alive. This may be the case because I'm writing about faith even though my faith might be just the tiniest bit shaky. In the book, "Ten Faces of Faith," I admit it:

"I wrestle with much of what I've been taught about faith, from the idea of angels hovering about unseen to evil spirits stalking us here on Earth, even though that’s what I was taught to believe. I’ve witnessed enough tragedy and experienced enough heart break myself to question the power of prayer, the existence of God, and His role in our lives. On a bad day I might just chalk the whole conundrum up to wishful thinking. Still, another part of me hopes that what I’ve been taught about God’s infinite love and mercy is true. That suffering serves a purpose. That in the end He will be there for us.

Perhaps you, too, have been put to the test in ways that called your faith into question. When the cancer came back, or your marriage failed, or you lost your best friend despite your prayers for her. You may have knelt down and pleaded with God for healing or solace or forgiveness that never came. You may have trusted in His mercy and power, but nothing happened. All the prayer in the world didn’t change a thing, and faith provided no consolation. God was silent. Absent. You may have conceded that prayer doesn’t actually work very well. That pain is an inevitable part of life and all the faith in the world is no safeguard against it. Like me, you may have felt God’s absence more than His presence at critical times in your life.

I’m still trying to make sense of it.

Image result for thinking clipart
I want to know how broken hearts still beat. I want to know how laughter survives. I want to understand why the faithful have to suffer because, despite what we’ve been told, it turns out that the yoke of humanity can be oppressive and the burden sometimes cruel."

Have you ever gotten in over your head with a writing project? What is the hardest thing you've undertaken? When you're having trouble with something, do you pray for help?
“Undeniably great is the mystery of devotion.”
~1 Timothy 3:16~
My next book is going to be about something that's funny...

Sunday, March 1, 2015

take a bow

For many of us this has been a dismal, cold, snowy winter. In fact, it's snowing outside my window right now...even though today is March 1st. Meaning, we're just three weeks away from the first day of spring.

Winter may not be your favorite time of the year, but on a warmer and brighter note, this year it turned out to be a great season to celebrate the arts. We had the Tonys, the Emmys, the Oscars, and the 40th anniversary gig to salute the enduring popularity of SNL. We've applauded the talent, imagination, and hard work of singers and dancers, actors, artists, writers, and musicians.

Their success suggests that the rest of us can do it, too. We may not make millions at what we attempt, or walk the proverbial red carpet of fame, but if, instead, we measure success in terms of passion, joy, and courage, we have earned the right to take a bow. 

We earn it with the first stroke of the brush on a blank white canvas. The first bars of a melody that come to us in silence. The first verse of a poem or the title of a story that needs to be told. The shape of a piece of clay.

We deserve a round of applause when we set a beautiful table, for the way we arrange the fruit on a platter, for the flowers we plant by the doorstep.

Just imagine the roar of the crowd when we hang a child's drawing on the refrigerator door, sing a simple song together, or dance a silly jig.

Wherever our imaginations lead us, whatever passion drives us, whatever the outcome, this is how art survives. Don't make it wait until spring.

What could you start doing today to please your inner artist?
"Reality leaves a lot
to the imagination."
~John Lennon~
If my posts are a little erratic over the next couple of weeks, it's because our family is expecting the arrival of a brand new baby boy. Talk about creativity...