Before you read me, go read Frank Viola Jesus, the Revolutionary.
Sheri’s off to the grocery store while I baby-sit. And I wonder why I don’t feel a shudder of exultant joy being with this little miracle. Instead, I’m typing a blog entry on my laptop. And not that that’s a bad thing. It’s a small miracle in itself, this blogging: private thoughts made public through technology. Little ones and zeros…
Or groceries? I still feel a little hint of the trembling excitement of Christmas morning when she comes in with the first bags and I go out for the rest. “This is ours—all this stuff?”
And there’s always the miracles of consciousness, sight, written language, oxidation, gravity, endoskeletons, polar magnetism, hemoglobin, memory, electricity, dimensional space, and the earth’s predictable rotational axis that keeps the satellites sending all our words out. There’s no imagining how many miracles are taking place this instant. We humans are awfully good at naming and taming them, but all we’re doing is using the predicable properties of the universe, none of which we even understand.
Writing’s no different. Consider your eyes flying across these symbols, taking them in as thoughts, representations of ideas from a separate consciousness. Go get a grain of salt and put it on your tongue. Listen to the ringing of your blood through your veins in a “silent” room. Do you “understand” it? Writing is a stand-in for every experience you have in life, and not just a secondary experience, but far superior, things you’d never experience otherwise. Writers observe, critique, slow the passage of time or speed it up, jump from one place to the next, hijack the imagination and speak directly to the soul’s deepest longings. Writing is manipulated reality. Altered consciousness. Improved sensation.
And there’s just not enough good writing, is there? It’s not just in CBA. In the same way there’s not enough love and true living, there’s not enough searching to experience. And it isn’t just Christians who prefer safety to real life, is it? When we talk about revolution, it’s to experience all of life and working to faithfully represent it and manipulate it just enough to reflect the truth within.
Just a simple reminder tonight that you are a revolutionary writer when you’re seeing the miracles and pointing them out for others to see. That’s what we need.