A Well and The Word
Ever since I've been going to my Secret Place each day, I've been freewriting about it afterwards. Freewriting is one of those tasks that every good writing book emphasizes.
V.H. Wright's The Soul Tells a Story considers freewriting to be a well-dredging activity— the "well" being that secret place inside us that contains all manner of thoughts and passions, memories and dreams, that we are rarely aware of in conscious life.
I like how Wright comforts the soul who gets out a bucket and sends it down with a splash...
"If you are mastering your craft, then you won't need to panic when all manner of strange stuff comes up out of your well. You know that as time goes by your skill will take hold of all that stuff and make something out of it." (p.129)
Here's what came out of my well the other day, after I sat in my "woods" and read Psalm 15, which says, Keep your word, even when it costs you. It is just unpolished freewriting, but I wanted to share it. I'm also going to take Wright's advice and put a hold on the panic.
The air is cool. I'm in shadow. Though the sun is up, it is not yet shining into these "woods." Daffodils poke through frost-bitten ivy and a lattice-work of pine needles. One green spike has the suggestion of a yellow promise behind a skin-like veil. The forsythia bend, dangling tear-drop earrings, flashing tinkling green-swelled jewels.
Wood-winged bushes are green-tipped candelabras, the promise of spring's light in this shadowy corridor. The stalks of the bush are torches, bleeding green from the core. If I hold them, will I be stained green? Will I leave this place with green stripes on my hands?
Somewhere, the muted gunshot of a woodpecker sounds and echoes. Or, it is a snare drum from the trunk of some tree? Wood-winged bud tips are fleur de lis or the bud-tip of a king's scepter. Through the fence, a patch of snowdrops bows delicate faces— for the coming of a king? Above me, a rustle and a leaf falling down. A furry Zaccheus perhaps, up in the tree, come to hear a king's words. The sun is now pouring lightly into the wood-winged bushes which are casting shadows on the pine.
I read Psalm 15, "Keep your word, even when it costs you," and it strikes me that the explosion of these buds, this drumroll of life, is yet again the keeping of God's first words, "Let there be light." I remember, suddenly, that we are in the Lenten season, and this too is the harbinger of a Light bleeding green, bleeding the cost of a promise, of a word spoken so long ago... "Let there be light."
A raucous band of five white birds with grey tails has come to watch The King walk his road towards his word. In the haven of the maple, they settle into a low "chr-chr-chr-chr." It is the "oh, my" of the crowd above the procession... and the ladies with their green teardrop earrings sit motionless... and wait.
Through the Chainlink Fence photo, by L.L. Barkat
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