Emergence

Emergence
Gabriel turns Two: Happy Birthday Sweet Boy

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Am I an alien?


Do you ever have those days or weeks or lives when you're just not sure what the hell you're doing or even what you should be doing? I can paint and write and parent okay -- but I'm perfectly aware that others are better at all of these things than me. I'm a ridiculously deep thinker, but not a scholar; a woman but not really a lady, an envelope pusher in some circles, but out in the world, I'm anybody's goody-two-shoes once my best stories have lost their six second shock value.

I've written a manuscript and I'm wondering if it's every going to see the light of anyone else's iris, much less join a community of other books on a shelf somewhere in Wisconsin before being snatched up by an eager hand, belonging to someone who's life is about to be qualitatively improved. Should I even bother to go through the painful purgatory of editing something that maybe should just be printed as is and used for toilet paper? Anne Lamott says everybody writes shitty first drafts. I'm thinking maybe I should quit now and join the stay-at-home moms group at my church and learn to cook, both of which would be a whole new direction for me.

Then there's my spirituality. God knows there is so freagin much that I JUST DON'T KNOW. And then other things I'm convinced of, except I also deeply hold the opposing viewpoint somewhere else in my brain. And everyone else seems to subscribe to this group or that group. The right or the left, the humanistic atheists or principled agnostics, the evangelicals or the liberal intellectuals or nominal catholics; the cultural Jews or the Emerging folks who are trying make Christianity all about the nation of Israel's history, or Emerging folks who are fairly neo-evangelical, committed to staying within the (generous) bounds of traditional orthodoxy...and I'm here looking on, seeing so many artifical constructs and none of it fits together perfectly -- yet I long after God with a buring love and I trust God...but not necessarily the so-called God people talk in each camp. Not the God of constructs, or human attempts to synthesize history or scripture, or even experience into something cohesive. Because neither history nor scripture, nor experience is truly cohesive or objective. But even when I'm not sure who or what God IS...I still sense a God of love...I still believe in redeeming grace; Grace which comes in the cross, and in whispers, in the love of man, in my baby's soft magical belly...and I wonder if I'll ever have a place to call home, besides my wonderful family and the eventual loving embrace of God. So I wander, with my little green antennae pointed up, looking for signals from other aliens in this strange world.

4 comments:

Makeesha said...

Our path with God is a dance, keep dancing :)

Jemila Monroe said...

Yes, dancing! I love dancing...though it becomes part worship, part pole dance, and largely comedy when I'm pregnant!

ktismatics said...

It's a good question about how much effort to put into writing a book that might never get read. There's the glib answer: the public be damned; I write for myself. As best I can tell this is the answer of people who don't write and people who are already published. On some level there's the sheer craftsmanship of making something as good as you can make it. Then I suppose if you believe in God you can say there's at least one Reader out there. Still, you'd like him to give you some feedback once in awhile.

I try to imagine seeing my book in a bookstore, as if someone else had written it. If I picked it up would I find it potentially interesting? If I flipped through would I regard the craftsmanship as at least adequate to do the job? If I read it would I feel like it was time well spent? If so then it's probably worth finishing it off. If there are enough people in the world who are like you, chances are that they'd like the book too. If you're quirkiness is a little farther off the grid, then maybe you're out of luck.

Is it in good enough shape for anyone to read it yet? If so, you might post up a chunk. Or send me an email (if your blog works like mine, then you know how to reach any commenter). I might not have the same tastes in reading that you do, but I'd be happy to give you my reactions to the first few chapters.

ktismatics said...

It's a good question about how much effort to put into writing a book that might never get read. There's the glib answer: the public be damned; I write for myself. As best I can tell this is the answer of people who don't write and people who are already published. On some level there's the sheer craftsmanship of making something as good as you can make it. Then I suppose if you believe in God you can say there's at least one Reader out there. Still, you'd like him to give you some feedback once in awhile.

I try to imagine seeing my book in a bookstore, as if someone else had written it. If I picked it up would I find it potentially interesting? If I flipped through would I regard the craftsmanship as at least adequate to do the job? If I read it would I feel like it was time well spent? If so then it's probably worth finishing it off. If there are enough people in the world who are like you, chances are that they'd like the book too. If you're quirkiness is a little farther off the grid, then maybe you're out of luck.

Is it in good enough shape for anyone to read it yet? If so, you might post up a chunk. Or send me an email (if your blog works like mine, then you know how to reach any commenter). I might not have the same tastes in reading that you do, but I'd be happy to give you my reactions.