our fixed attention


"Creative work will demonstrate to you again and again that the world is bigger and deeper than you perceive, that God has many ways of speaking to your soul, and the the soul itself possesses much wisdom that you simply hadn't noticed before."
(Vinita Hampton Wright, The Soul Tells A Story)

"Suppose the Holy One Whose Face We Seek
is not so much invisible as we
are ill-equipped to apprehend His grave
proximity. Suppose our fixed attention
serves mostly to make evident the gap
dividing what is seen and what is here."
(Scott Cairns, As We See)

These are the two quotes that I wrote on the first page of my writer's notebook.

I wrote them there because they sum up for me why I write.

I write because I am often confused. I write when I see something beautiful and want to let that admiration free from my own soul. I write to bridge the gap between what is seen and what is here. I write to seek out the promises. I write so that I do not forget what happened today. I write when I am alone. I write when I am surrounded by voices I do not know. I write because I often cannot speak. I write because I want other people to think I am artistic. I write because I like my handwriting. I write to pay attention. I write when I notice the way the sunlight hits the chair. I write because when I do not write I feel trapped. I write because it reminds me that the world is so much more complex than I think. I write from fear that my life will be meaningless. I write when I have questions that I cannot answer. I write even though I am often frustrated with the limitation of words. (That is why I dance.) I write because it makes me feel like the only person alive, because it gives me a deep sense of contented loneliness. I write because it makes me feel a part of the universe, of this space we call our temporary home. I write because it helps me be more compassionate. I write to myself. I write to others. I write to God. I write through judgments into love. I write through pain into hope. I write through selfishness into understanding. I write because I am selfish. I write as I sit in trees. I write in the morning when the mercies are fresh and sweet. I write when I am angry in the darkness under the pillow with my cell phone giving me light. I write to be more grateful. I write when I do not know what else I can do.

"I write because it is dangerous, a bloody risk, like love, to form the words, to say the words, to touch the source, to be touched, to reveal how vulnerable we are, how transient."
(Terry Tempest Williams, Writing Creative Non-Fiction)

[picture of my beloved typewriter back at home, and some rilke]


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