Georgie and I are in Seattle for one more day, visiting our family here, and this visit, as in the previous two, I have my computer and I’m spending the mornings writing. I feel so comfortable in the house and among these people that the words have come fairly pleasantly.
Sometimes when I’m writing, though, even amid the pleasanter times, crosscurrents start flowing, or I otherwise find myself unable to martial all the elements I’m trying to deploy. It used to be that my only tactics were, like many folks, fight or flight: I could sit there tearing out my hair, or I could wash the dishes, or turn on the TV, or take a nap, and hope the words would come out right later.
Now, sometimes, I pray.
That’s a little dicey, since I am praying for myself, which my tradition says doesn’t work. But I do, honestly and literally, think of writing as God-given — or, certainly, that any creative action follows in the footsteps of God, who created the heavens and the earth. (You know, so they say. I wasn’t there.) I think that a part of God resides within me, as it does within each of us, so I get on my knees and ask for help to express that voice within.
Anyway, I just did that. I’ve been writing in my book (6 days straight!) this morning and I began feeling a tad of tussle, so I got on my knees and started as I usually do: “Dear God, good morning.” At that instant, the bells from the church a block away began calling its adherents to Sunday prayer.
No, I don’t think that was God replying. It was a coincidence. Completely.
And yet, it was … amusing. Sweet. Comforting.
Oh, and yes, the tactic of prayer almost always works. Go figure.