I write my truth at my desk in the little office space off the kitchen, with windows all around but often closed to keep out much of the light. There is something comforting about semi-darkness, not to hide me but to allow calm for thinking.
I write my truth in my head nearly every waking moment, doing what nearly every writing coach and book tells the writer to do: to notice the details, the specifics, the things our senses only pull from our surroundings when we engage them. My senses are engaged. Always.
I love the way Anne Lamott puts it: “There is ecstasy in paying attention.”
I have often thought of myself as odd for paying such close attention to detail in my surroundings, in the people I encounter. I take people-watching to new heights. It makes it very easy to create character profiles when I have a million characters wandering around in my mind all the time.
But there is another value in paying attention, in looking more closely. In noticing. There is a validation of worth that is whispered or spoken or screamed aloud when our details are noticed.
Somebody cares enough to see who I really am.
Our truth is in our details, and our truth deserves to be told. Why else do we live, except to love and to adore the Creator for all of this—for every blessing, for every moment, for every detail—and how else do we express this living except through the tiny pieces of the whole, the textures, the aromas, the beauty of our day?
There is nothing ordinary about life. There is nothing mundane, nothing plain, nothing uninteresting in this beautiful journey we’re living out by God’s sweet grace. There is so much to see, to experience, to enjoy. And it’s all part of a story worth telling.
It’s time we told our truth, but we have to notice it first.
A charge Natalie Goldberg issues often is “Be here now.” Such a simple ideal, but it resonated with me many years ago and stays with me still, whispering from my spirit a call to stay in the moment. To notice every little thing.
I want to be here now, ever present in this moment, noticing and describing the details as though my very life depends on it. Because the memory of the life I’ve lived truly does.
God, please keep me present in the moment with a pen in my hand and a longing to share the simple, beautiful truth that is mine alone to share.
A Write Where It Hurts post