Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Date: August 26, 2004


I’ve taken to drinking coffee around dusk. It has been years since I tried that, and maybe never since I did it a couple days in a row. Why now? I’m not at all sure. Of course, it’s a poor man’s brew, the morning grounds recycled for another go, tasting tonight vaguely of cigarettes. I have no idea why. Never have I smoked and the last time around here someone did was when our house was being painted, and the helper helped herself to a good pack while she… helped.

Better not to ask the source of that taste, and value the smokey brew for what it is, or what it does, or at least for what one think it should do which is a lot more than it actually seems to have done. Try it again, that sentence did in fact make sense.

The moon is near full, coyotes howl and yelp from a valley quite nearby, and a heavy bladed helicopter flies low overhead.

I’m at the point now where whether I become a real writer is seemingly up to me. Can I pull off a well turned phrase, weave a cogent tale with endearing and authentic characters? I don’t know. I realize my own limitations in perspective, how my imagination seems unable to translate well. Or, I find my own interests and tendencies not matching up to what others would seek.

I write quick, can get words down with hardly any time or effort, but then shaping those into something which transcends the average is the trick. And it is my prayer that inspiration would bite in a way it hasn’t bitten before. Either I’m going to come out of this a brilliant writer, or I’m going to crawl back down the hill seeking restoration for a misplaced self.

And folks I know try to interest me in gambling for a couple of dollars with some printed cards. A life, an existence. Making it or falling flat. Those are high stakes. The game is indeed on, and I’m all-in.


I woke before dawn, and I’m not sure why. Thoughts of today’s tasks passed through my head, but instead of leaping out of bed and engaging the editing and research of the day, I leaned over and picked up a magazine of logic puzzles, which I bought a couple of weeks ago in order to ‘stimulate my mind’. I’m not sure it’s working.

With a new desk I have more space for books, or cups and plates, only the larger size made me turn from my previous perspective. From the corner of my eye I could see outside. Now, I dwell more firmly in the corner, and have to make a physical effort to see the goings on of this forest world, hence my lack of noting how the natural world looks this morning. Though, I should add that the sight of chipmunks rustling through the needles and dirt on the hillside opposite never becomes tiresome. They are engaging little beasties, alert and quick, cute beyond description.

After a puzzle or two I did get to work, first editing, then researching. For whatever reason it seems that a great deal more is written about Sepphoris than Capernaum. Methinks I’m going to have to stir from my mountain perch and wander once more in a library.

The editing is daunting to be honest. I’m feeling restrained, like a great writer is within me, only I self-edit myself too much, not becoming loose and fluid with my words. I feel like if I would to close my eyes and let my fingers go I could come up with something brilliant. But, thinking inhibits. I don’t feel the looseness, and need to find that breaking out point in which my writing takes on that quality which I know it can.

I think this is an aspect of my seeking to control my various moods. Depressing tendencies have, for the most part, been overcome, only in doing that I’ve stifled some measure of my release. I’ve lost my poetry, or rather I’ve buried it deep within with suspicion.

Somehow I need to find out how to let it out once more, gain back a freedom in my writing, unrestrain my heart and words so that my imagination is not shackled by my conscious self. It’s up there, and it is wanting release.

Inner conflict. That’s my present state. I hope I win.

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