Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Does it count as a Lenten discipline...

…to start blogging again? I’m just coming from Ash Wednesday service, where the sermon was about the possibility of taking something on for Lent, rather than just giving something up.

It sure feels like Lenten penance enough already, coming back to the blog after letting it lie dormant for a year. I don’t regret it though—this year has been perhaps the most fruitful of my professional, personal, and creative life. I made it through two intense writing classes, with two pretty sweet portfolios to show for it. I graduated from college. I landed an internship at a publishing house, where I spent five months fulfilling my dream of being an editor. Working behind the scenes with other people’s words, rather than writing my own.

And then I came home and wrote a novel. It’s scattered, it’s cheesy, it’s not finished, but it is a novel. Thanks to the grace of God and the support of the NaNoWriMo community.

Now I’m in California, enjoying the 80-degree February weather and the company of my partner, after 3 years of long distance. All in all, it’s been a pretty fantastic year.

And yet I still get twitchy. Especially in church. When the images that pop up in the service are all about God the Super-King, ultra-powerful and ultra-male (probably wielding a thunderbolt or two) I get twitchy. I have to wonder, is that the only way we know how to talk to God?

~~~

Maybe it’s not a Lenten discipline per se, but I’ve already committed to a challenge this year: to write 500 new words every day. (Thanks to my NaNo friends for setting up the 500 Challenge!) But when I sit down to the scribblebook today, the words that end up on the page are prayers, hymns, and midrash. Reflections on God-images, and what they really mean in our lives today.

So I’ve come back to the blog, to share these new images I’m playing with. Some will work and some won’t. Some will be heretical (and some of you won’t care). But isn’t that how we create? Out of chaos—trial and error—or to quote Anne Lamott, shitty first drafts.

Read my “drafts” on this blog. Comment on them, critique them, and above all keep me honest. I hope to keep them coming, through Lent and beyond.