Friday, January 17, 2014

The cliff of risk

Those of you who are faithful readers of this blog know that I've been keeping journals almost as long as I could write my name in cursive. And those journals have been unedited, mostly-unshared and un...well, everything else. But unedited is the main thing. I'm thinking about that tonight because in the last almost six years since I began blogging, this little blog of mine has been very like a journal.

I edit as I write this blog. It's a swipe of a key to do so on a computer. Doesn't mar the page. I don't like marring the page. Never have. I'm a little compulsive that way about my journals. In fact it used to be that if I started a sentence with the wrong word, I'd make it an exercise in English to make that wrong word fit my thought and the sentence would make sense. As I've aged I'm more willing to cross out words, but it's still not comfortable.

Such things can tell you a lot about a person. That rigidity.

My point is that this little blog journal has made me more flexible, more willing to admit I don't have it right every minute. That's a good thing.

But I'm also aware that I don't put everything on the table, so to speak, on this blog.  When I spent my days reading high school English papers and helping kids write better, I used to say that there should be a grade for RISK. Some students are naturally good writers--or proficient academic writers, I should say. They do everything they're asked, and they do it very well. So they score well. Other students have far fewer natural skills, have a host of reasons why those skills aren't as proficient, but a few of them took risks. By risks I mean, they'd stretch so far, try some thing in their writing that set them apart, even if their skill wasn't equal to it. Maybe they were willing to take on a subject that was difficult, or try writing in a genre that was unfamiliar, or even (a very few) expose a part of themselves that was so raw and deep that to give any sort of grade felt like another punch in the gut to a life that had only had gut-punches. Whatever it was, I felt that they should be acknowledged for that risk, honored for it.

I've broken a lot of English rules on this blog, I'm willing to admit. Glad to admit. I know when I break them and know to what end I do so. But I haven't really broken through that one 'rule' I felt so strongly about in the ten years I spent working in English departments. I haven't broken through the wall of risk. Not really, I mean. Sure, I've shared some things that other people might not share. But these are things hard for ME to share.

So my hope for this coming year is to step out closer to the cliff of RISK. To write things I believe, to be more provocative, more thoughtful, more deliberate. To take more risks. Yes, just that.

And we will see where we land.
Editing as I go, of course. But not deleting.
So five quick 'semi-risky) things:

  1. I'm a contemplative. Or a mystic. Whatever you find more comfortable to call me. The noise of the modern age is too much. It drowns out God for me. I must go into the quiet, the deep, utter quiet where I can hear my heart beat, and then the door opens to hearing God. 
  2. If something happened to Beve, I'd absolutely consider joining a monastery. And no, I'm not a Roman Catholic. 
  3. But while we're on that subject, I LOVE Pope Francis. I mean, I could wish to be a Catholic just to claim him. Or maybe I will anyway.
  4. I'm a Democrat. Half of my extended family is Republican, half is Democrat, and it feels like our family doesn't really fit anywhere, we Evangelical Christian Democrats. But we're real people. And I get tired of the notion that I can't be both. I can, and I'll tell you why another time--and it's ALL about the gospel (that's my teaser!).
  5. I believe that God loves all of us. That there isn't a single person on this earth excluded from that love. And that He made us. Each one of us is a unique gift of God. Exactly as we are. That's not so risky for me to say, since it's pretty much what I mean to say with every post, but I just couldn't bear to end to without repeating it. We need each other. With all our differences, we need each other. He meant it that way.

1 comment:

Pamela M. Steiner said...

Looking forward to hearing from the "risky" you! I believe God will be speaking to us through your risk taking experience. Thank you for being so brave! You may inspire the rest of us to get a little closer to the edge...