I love the reflected image of green limbs against blue sky as seen in the aged glass panes of this window. Rather than stand in front of the window for the photograph, I stepped off-center then aimed the camera upward. A perceptively different view was revealed. The rippled character of the old glass, the angle of light careening the image back to the eye, created an additional unexpected, new way of seeing the window and it’s reflected foliage.
I found Job’s story had elements similar to this photographic experience. Ultimately Job had to accept “seeing” God from an unfamiliar perspective. Grasping God’s omnipotent ways requires us to stand in a different place, accept the unexpected, and look at events from the unique vantage point of God’s lens.
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Reluctantly I came to the end of reading Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg after months and months of slow perusing through her thoughts on the writing life and guidance for honing the craft.
An Afterward in the closing pages offered the author’s thoughts, now more than 2 decades after the original publication of her part memoir, part writer’s handbook classic.
I mentally stumbled over the challenge of hindsight in reviewing the writing of ones young adult soul that has been printed for millions of readers. Ponder the change in a human’s attitudes, tastes, and experience across that time frame and yet millions of readers keep that individual firmly in the mindset of her third decade. Little chance that a ‘do over’ would topple the sheer size of the author’s original impression.
As for me, my 50 plus years read a 30 plus author knowing full well that she has added two and a half more decades to her life experience and surely has refined her professional and cultural wisdom. Good fortune would have it that Natalie Goldberg’s book was, is, and remains a collection of remarkable personal observations that new generations of writers continue to read even today.
Though there are many highlighted segments in my copy of the book and it remains in my on-going reading stack; a prominent take-away from the reading of this work is not in the text of the writer but in the historical longevity of the book.
I counsel myself,
to underline the need for
an ever vigilant ear to one's writing before releasing it to a reading public.
A vigilant ear beyond mechanics to the soul of the message.
An ear for the sincerity of my intent.
An ear for the accuracy of what has been stated.
An ear for examples that will weather the test of time.
An ear for the confidentiality of institutions and people.
An ear for consequences stemming from what has been written.
An ear for responsibility extending far into time.
Because, though my writing is not published in the traditional manner for millions of readers; on-line writing releases these words of personal musings to the public, for all time.
Our Pastor stepped to the pulpit to declare, "He is Risen!" and we rose to sing our joy as Easter people.
My heart burst with it's own silent internal refrain,
Sing his holy name!"
Jubilant choir voices rang with a royal decree announcing the King of Kings. Our sanctuary, filled with hundreds of voices, joined the choir and song reverberated from loft to alter, up through the balconies, with the music of His people's praise. My heart swelled with the Holy Spirit's presence in this place and continued it's silent worshipful refrain,
Sing! Sing his holy name!"
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