Thoroughly Alive

We must hunger after the beautiful and the good...



Last week, I was about to quit my blog. This has been a year of such soul-searching, future-obscured transition. I have felt many times that I was trying to stand up straight on a roiling ocean. The hard part of it has been trying to figure out what in the wide world I was supposed to do with my life. I cast bread on so many waters, snatched it back from some, wondered where it went on others. I realized sometime last year, that change must come. I finished my book, got a business in place, and then looked toward the future. I tried to move. I thought about college. And as doors continued to stay shut, I thought maybe practicality was being asked of me and I tried to get my foot in the door with missions, local work, jobs, etc.

I also tried to be a "professional" writer. I tried to be savvy, and get my blog in a better shape for what publishers might want. I gave my mind to a thousand little projects, tried to jazz things up, change things around. I still wrote what I loved, but the effort of trying to figure out my online identity, trying to say wise things, contemporary things when my brain was exhausted got to be too much. Pretty soon, I lost the soul of it. Then, I felt like such an unstable person that I began to question my call to be a writer at all. And to be honest, I was tired. So, I got to the point of wondering recently if maybe I should just take a break for awhile.

And then, I went to the Hutchmoot. Yes, you read that right. Moot is an Old English word for gathering, and hutch had to do with the attendees - all lovers of The Rabbit Room. It was a conclave of story-lovers, a meeting of souls bound by a love of the beautiful as it is expressed in word and art, story and song. And really, I don't have clear enough thoughts to articulate the beauty the time was to me - but it was a healing. It was the rehabilitation of a soul tired out by details and a big world, and loneliness. The friendship of the other writers, the open-hearted community (oh a rare and lovely thing!) and the outright celebration of this complex thing called story, this way of weaving goodness into the world through words, well, it snapped me back alive. And I knew.

Of course I don't want to quit my blog. To write is my joy and my work. Writing is the one place I feel I actually articulate the deep, aching things in my heart that I never seem quite able to say. To write is something God has asked of me. I think I finally understood this best in the context of story. Of realizing that my writing, even the nonfiction, goes toward narrating grace into this world. I can tell stories, and I can weave story out of the seemingly disparate events of life in our world. To be a woman of story is the work to which I want to give my life.

And I want that work to spill over here, into my blog world. I am, however, going to simplify. I am learning that there are only so many works, projects, details that I can manage, and one of the ones I can't is having a three detail-intensive blogs. I will probably eventually move everything over to my Storyformed site; combining several blogs and simplifying my brain space. Storyformed captures in a word exactly the sort of life I want to live. I will be writing a lot more about art and books, story in Scripture, and even the daily narratives of travel or photography, and maybe some future endeavors in study. We'll see. It'll be a simple: thoughts, a few pictures, and books scattered here and there, of course. But I hope to post more regularly. To give up some of the striving toward up-to-dateness or "relevance" and just write what I think, what "stabs my spirit broad awake," on any given day. (Don't worry if you come here sometime and everything's changed  - I'll point this website to wherever I end up.) I hope to be far more regular at this, so check back and berate me, albeit gently, if I'm not!

All this to say, I'm glad to be here. I'm glad to be a writer, to have friends in the world with whom to bandy thoughts and dreams. Thank you for reading. Thank you. I hope to offer you more to chew on soon. I guess if you'll stick around, I will too.

Sarah Clarkson24 Comments