Thursday, May 20, 2010

disciplined faith

Anne Lamott remains a favorite. From her book entitled Bird by Bird:

Thirty years ago, my older brother who was ten years old at the time was trying to get a report on birds done that he'd had three months to write. [It] was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and unopened books on birds. Immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'

I am faced with several big projects this summer. Some personal, some church calling related, all self-initiated. And all involving creativity and making it up as I go. I have set the bar overwhelmingly high. Given my tendency to get side-tracked and procrastinate you see my reality. Plus work infused with creativity is extremely hard. A desire to solve a problem or see something in a new light can move us into a state of uncertainty. And then here come the voices of anxiety, judgment, and sometimes doom. You sense a creative possibility, but aren’t sure about where to go with it, how to proceed, what approach to take.

Another Anne quote then:

The great novelist E.L. Doctorow once said that writing a novel is like driving at night with the headlights on: You can only see a little ways in front of you, but you can make the whole journey that way. It is the truest of all things; the only way to write a book, raise a child, save the world.

Yup. The only way really to proceed with any project, assignment or challenge that lies before us.

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