Writing into the Light

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Like most who pursue this creative life, while writing I’m more dependent on the daily requirements of my existence than I like to admit.

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And like most, I’m terrified of losing my routine. The little habits I’ve grown addicted to, of waking and showering and reading, preparing and preserving the ideas and energy for the page, they’ve grown to encompass more of the real world I’m forced to face every day. And it worries me, but the less life demands, the less I have to fight to escape into the lucid dream of my story world.

In the realer world, the one beyond the physical, no mere intellect serves. A writer can visit this world and translate its whisperings as “fiction,” yet the language there is a weirdly enveloping experience. At times, I’ve known only heaven could provide such inspiration so dissimilar to my waking reality, even though it’s like nothing I’ve read in a Bible or heard in church. I can’t claim to know the place even partially—it’s a world I’ve only imagined and barely described with words.

But it exists as surely as I do. And no sanctuary in my experience has been holier.

As I write, I go to this place and my hope is to convey my visits. When I’m not writing, it always waits for me to wake up to it, hoping I’ll remember as I go about my daily business. At times the longing for it grows so strong, I go to write and wake up there, as though I’d never left. Yet eventually, bleary-eyed and squinting, I’m again forced to emerge from the vacuum chamber of a story, to re-acclimate to this dimmer, more tangible place. Sometimes I resist returning, but I always give in, to remain available to my wife, family and the many other things I love.

But as Erasmus said, the desire to write grows with writing.

164819_494124054563_777394563_5801658_7068250_nIf that world didn’t exist, I wouldn’t want to write, for this realer dream is a treasure room of such glorious beauty, and writing of it is how I bring some shining thing back to share, even a tiny spark to inspire others before it disappears and we all have to go about our busy lives once again.

Isn’t it our truest job to allow this attraction to be our strongest longing–at least for a few fleeting moments? Like any obsession, the more invested I am in seeking it, the more I want it.

I know I can’t simply stay in that wonderful place forever. For one thing, I’m always alone there. And it’s fearsome at times and I know I have to come back and share my struggle so other will know it’s normal to be afraid at times and weary, torn between this dingy earth and the mysterious one inside—however alive it makes us feel.

Maybe that conflict is part of the beauty itself: that inescapable pull between life here and life there is the basis of the inspiration born of that stark contrast and endless battle to see and feel it. Maybe this strain we feel between our worlds is what made us creators in the first place, the seekers of wonders known so far only to the original Creator. And either we fight to face the challenge to see all we can and render it faithfully—or we work to forget there’s anything there.

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I’ve spent years of study and practice and no one told me about this place. Most haven’t believed in it, or I assumed they didn’t. Others act like it should be an easy matter to find out whatever this world beyond is. But nothing about this struggle to believe is ever easy. To conquer the fear of wasting your time, or of escaping familiar life, that commitment must be new every day. It’s only when I’m seeking the clues of that greater world that the importance of my calling becomes clear, the true gravity of my simple, tiny life.

Because what actually is this place? Isn’t it merely these continually growing and waning flashes of insight, these expansive and microscopic moments birthed by writing into the blank space, and filling it with all my paltry-but-full-of-hope words, tinged by light but tarnished by my clumsy hands? I trade my body and mind for a spirit always more awake than I, and I keep on until all that remains outside melts away and my life grows quiet around me and my inner senses grow stronger. And then I know I’m there and here, at once.

And always, just beyond that bend ahead, my Maker beckons preparing me for when the moment is finally right. I’ll press forward, always sensing the fragility, only a thin string of words left to share until there’s no longer anything stopping me from escaping for that last time…

And then I’ll only be there,

Forever.

For the Higher Purpose,

Mick

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5 thoughts on “Writing into the Light”

  1. Mick – I loved “Writing Into the Light”. It surprised me by its effect so much that I wanted to read it to my husband this evening, as we are both burnt out from days of doing taxes.

    I knew, however, that if I tried to read it aloud to him I would weep too much to render it coherently. Among all your wonderful posts, this one touched me the deepest. It is so perfectly interpreted its impact felt like a wound: a blow to that bittersweet place in my heart where art can cut me in two. The place where I am lifted way up even as I feel something akin to pain. The place of beauty.

    You described that “writing place” in words only the Spirit could have given you. Well done.

    Sarah M.

    1. Thanks, Sarah! This is actually an edited post from years back that was used in a book for writers. When I stopped blogging for several weeks, I remembered this. And it led me back to where I started.

      I think we all know this place. But as adults, we all forget. And at the bottom of everything else, maybe the work of writing is about remembering.

      God goes with you every time. If you keep your eyes on Him.

      Love, joy, peace, and all the other fruits of the journey,
      M

  2. Pure poetry. Thanks for bringing me into your heart-room and reminding me of mine. It’s why I write out my prayers. It’s there we meet our Creator-friend.

    1. “Heart-room” is great! Like our “interior castle,” created to explore and bring out treasure to share.

      A great writer before me said writing is best when it’s prayer. Writing prayers is a great entry point to that. And thanks for the kind words–I did treat this as poetry. I love how preserving the mystery allows people to realize their spiritual awareness and knowledge. Like realizing a secret power they didn’t know they had. :)

      M

  3. Mick,

    Thanks for all you do to encourage and inspire us to write as God has created us to do :-) Blessings to you as you work on your novel; may God give you words and all you need.

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