Monday, July 13, 2009

Why Do You Write? (tweet, blog...)

Fairy Forest

The path meanders upward, embraced in shadow. A red-winged blackbird lights on the underbrush where pearl-orange berries hang. Further on, red berries dangle too, like liquid glass. Poplars and firs give way to bamboo, and through a gap I see fields of roses, pink and wild. The air carries their scent, even as it moves cattails now full with ivory cotton swelling.

A single cardinal punctuates grass, turns his head to the side, just after the pond. Oh, the pond! Brown fish like blunted chopsticks sit motionless, while powder-blue dragonflies whir and dip. A naked branch, dead to the year, becomes a landing dock. Dragonflies, dragonflies, like blue-powdered leaves, clutter the skeleton branch. And here is a cluster of golden brown mushrooms. Or there. Look! Yellow flowers like banana bunches, and lavender too. Banana flowers. That's what we called them as children.

My girls go before me, biking through time, past creeks and swamps. They like the tunnels, shady and cool. I hear them up ahead, whistling in the dark.


Why do I write this for you? Tell of my Sabbath biking? I write because I suffer.

Suffer? you say. What have cardinals and red berries got to do with suffering?

Lewis Hyde, author of The Gift has an interesting observation about gratitude. It is, he says, what we 'suffer' between the time we receive a gift and the time we pass it along.

So, yes, I write of girls on a path, of wild roses and dark tunnels... because I have suffered gratitude. For these Sabbath gifts. And now I find relief, in passing the gifts to you.

Fairy Forest Painting, by Sara B. Used with permission.

High Calling Blogs The Gift: Generous Elves

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Blogger GratefulinGA said...

thank you for your many gifts, my life is richer for them.

9:52 AM  
Blogger sherri said...

Well, your suffering leaves us all inspired. Beautiful. Just beautiful.

I guess I suffer as well.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous heather said...

My husband recently asked me this as we discussed options and directions for my writing. My answer surprised me, but the moment I said it, I knew it was true:
So that others will know they're not the only ones.
It's the reason I read in reverse. I want to be challenged, yes, but I want to know I'm not the only one who . . .
It's why I love Anne of Green Gables. It's why I love Sully (Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo) and Rebecca (Back When We Were Grown-ups by Anne Tyler). It's why I love characters.
I want my writing to do that for others, to make them realize they're not alone.

12:20 PM  
Blogger deb said...

I posted along these lines I think, without intending to , but certainly with the gift to others in mind.

4:01 PM  
Blogger e.o.w. said...

The kind of suffering that burns through us, singing tunes so sweet we catch our breath trying for a moment to stay, to hold, to have... Oh that sweet letting go, pushing into, and bursting us open!

5:08 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

You took me to the forest :)

I am so grateful that you keep this gift of writing moving, L.L. I have not transformed to the next place yet, but your words help me mount the stairs.

And I can't help but to think that, in writing Stone Crossings, did it aid the transformation? Those healing words did provide balm for some of my old roles.

You bless with this gift.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Billy Coffey said...

I've never considered writing in this light, but I am now. That's a perfect observation.

9:27 AM  
Blogger elk said...

i am not a writer ...i am a reader tho and love the gifts you pass on~elk

10:06 AM  
Anonymous Sam Van Eman said...

We don't do enough of this suffering.

12:10 PM  
Blogger RickNiekLikeBikes said...

Some days I'm most grateful for my suffering.

3:38 PM  
Blogger bluemountainmama said...

sometimes gratitude does almost hurt, as in suffering..... like a burden that you need to share. that's an interesting way of putting it. thank you for this meandering gift of gratitude...

3:44 PM  
Blogger A Simple Country Girl said...

Writing about writing seems to be a common theme, not only for myself, but among the blogs I visit lately. I wonder why? You know, I have not thought about linking suffering and gratitude in this way. I have thought about being grateful while suffering... Hmmm, making me think and sort and think some more.

Thank you for sharing yourself.

6:54 PM  
OpenID bluecottonmemory said...

How beautifully said. Wonderfully written. You have explained what is in my heart:)

12:49 AM  
Blogger Claire said...

my poem for this week. i really enjoyed this prompt.

6:33 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

My poem is up...

Amazing what comes to life when I let it.

6:55 AM  
Blogger Joelle said...

Yes. I suffer until I can share my gratitude. Guess I wouldn't have put it that way before, but now that you say it, I see it's true. Have been "suffering" to tell the world how grateful I am, how utterly blessed....

7:22 AM  
Anonymous monicasharman said...

"Why do I write? That makes as much sense to me as, 'What noise does yellow make?' "
-Terry Pratchett's my RAP:

10:14 AM  
Blogger sojourner said...

I like this idea of gratitude and suffering. Thank you for your gift of this writing. And, thank you for sending me Stone Crossings with the tangable pieces of your life. I almost read it right away, but now I see I will allow myself to suffer until it can be read during a time of rest and silence.

12:26 PM  

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