I’ve had a bad case of writer’s block this week, which is unfortunate since a lot of deadlines are begging to be met! It’s been a process of matching morals to stories in an effort to not feel like life is just seeping out of the seams. Forcing things feels awful and stuffy. Suffocating, really. It reminds me of when we try to push a routine on Zo, when we put her to bed before she’s ready or keep her up till half past tired. She gets restless, wiggling around like she wants to get out of her own skin.
There are some things in life that are best approached from the ending and worked backwards. I can’t think of a poignant example right but I know that growth is not one of those things. In trying to finagle my stories (and Zoey’s daily routine) to a certain conclusion I’m frustrating spontaneity and probably much happier endings. If I left some room for improvisation I bet I’d be breathing a little easier right now.
Yesterday I was talking with Shannon and something along these lines came up. We were saying how sometimes- well, a lot of the time!- religion takes a “grass is greener” approach to faith, that if you get in line and get with God things will fall in to place. The reality is quite the opposite: allowing ourselves to be lead by something other than society’s approval rating moves against a very strong current. No wonder we run back to what we can buy, taste, or possess over and over again.
We can’t see the growth that’s happening in the dark so we’re convinced that in releasing our grip we’ve stunted ourselves, ruined the perfect ending. Again, the reality is that only when we allow things to be in this dark and quiet space, where they get dirt on them and take root in the underground, that the rich and meaningful can flourish in our lives. Watch a garden and try to argue this fact.
The clean points I plot are not the whole story, so it would make the most sense if I stopped trying to control the ending. I go to the baby, an education in things out of my control, for wisdom on this. Take for example breakfast this morning. This is Zoey learning to eat…
Baptized in sweet potatoes and spit, she’s reminding me that mess is an important part of the story and sometimes, the only way life, learning, and growth can spring forward.