Wednesday, January 24, 2007

lend me your ear

How do you know when you’re supposed to be a writer? (How do you know when you’re supposed to be anything?) I have failed so far in trying to pin my interests on a particular vocation. Maybe it is because I love this earth so much that I don’t want to deny any part of it. Maybe that is an optimistic view, and I am really just lazy.

And yet I keep coming back to writing, and its impervious demons: How dare I assume that my words will count, that they will be worthy of even an ear? There is so much noise around us, thousands of messages breeding cacophony. My own voice seems obstructed by the words themselves.

How can I be confident in this journey when I have not yet seen the map, let alone the end? How can I obey when I have not yet heard?

I cannot be sure that my love of words should translate into writing. There are so many ways to love words. And so it seems, more and more each day, that writing is neither an act of confidence nor skill, but faith. And faith is one of those companions that no matter how persistently you push it away, it just keeps turning up in the strangest places. Faith just doesn’t know how to let go.

As always, I am full of questions. In my prouder moments I believe I could be a good mother, teacher, architect, counsellor, nurse, editor, graphic designer, chef. But in William Stafford’s words, the world waits there / thirsting after its names. Who am I to turn away? Adam has passed on his duty, and I feel incredibly small in front of the silence that longs to be turned into song.

2 comments:

christine said...

and a way with words, you have. take heart in your talent, though its fruits may be sometimes unknown.

deepthoughts said...

jen!

thanks for the comment. it's so good to hear from you. and what exciting news you have! married and a student! wonderful! i am very happy to hear it and i think it's just the right time in spite of what the grannies say. you are young now, but you've lived your life fully and independently til now, so you won't wonder what that's like now that you've embarked on an adventure together with the one you love. it's fabulous.

as for whether you should or could be a writer, i don't think it's a question. you are a writer and the real question is only what you want to write next. will it be one big project? or will it be a regular contribution to a publication? what do you want to write?

i'll be checking back often now that you're posting again and look forward to your speculations on your new life and location.

love,

kat