Last night as I was journaling and making research notes in my current writing WIP, I was very tempted to write the word “hopeless” to describe the way I was feeling. There are a lot of overwhelming things going on in my world right now.
Sometimes I feel like I am responsible for the entire three ring circus of this life I've chosen. Can you spot the woman chasing the spotlight she's supposed to be lit up by? That's me! You see I'm behind the count, and I'm in the wrong costume and a girl just can't dangle from a high wire, perform tricks on horseback and make the elephant wave to the audience all my herself-- and don't even remind me it should all be precisely timed to happen at the exact same second! It's h......... I just can't make myself write the word. I can't. Not quite yet.
Hope is a thing I have loved myself for never losing. I've lost keys, more phones than I can count, and even the same child three times one 4th of July. But hope? It seems I have always been able to find a way to be keep even the most precarious fingertip hold on hope, even during the most impossible journeys up and out and through.
Yet there I was, my pencil poised above my notebook ready to write the word. There's even evidence in the tear-shaped stain (where the word was almost written) that lives on as a smudge on the last line of the last page.
Instead of writing it, I put my pencil down and began to pray. I think I even said, “I don't even know what to pray for, but I know You know...” I prayed that way until I fell asleep.
Then, this morning when my alarm goes off for church, I cringe. I feel discouraged, and tired, and I could fall back asleep so easily. I don't currently have a calling, so I wouldn't really be missed, and yet...I know I need to be there.
Ninety minutes and one bad-hair-day later I sit in Relief Society where a dear sister stands to give her lesson. I already feel the Spirit washing over me. Her reverence invites it, and my need soaks it up like a dry sponge. She says she's been thinking about this lesson on her early morning drives to work and back and one word kept coming back again and again.
(See those tear stains right there? They're mine...but in a good way.)
"I believe that what we want to write wants to be written. I believe that as I have an impulse to create, the something I want to create has an impulse to want to be born. My job, then, is to show up on the page and let that something move through me. In a sense, what wants to be written is none of my business.
-Julia Cameron, "The Right to Write", p. 18, par. 2