Thursday, October 30, 2014

Longings Fulfilled

I have the Living Lutheran site on my brain for several reasons.  One is that my latest post is up today.  Its subject:  what we lost in the Reformation.  Go here to read it.

I also have the site on the brain because I have finally updated my complete CV--the CV I no longer send out, because it is far too long because it lists every individual poem publication, and every online site essay, and on and on.

For years, I've just put the link to the Living Lutheran blog posts that I've written on my CV.  But at some point in the last year, the web site changed and the links no longer worked.  I thought the easiest way to get the titles would be to work my way back through the archives.   I've been a bit worried that the archives would vanish before I had a chance to do it. 

So finally this week I had a chance to go through the archives and copy titles and dates into my CV.  Unfortunately, if there was a filter that would have allowed me to just view my posts, I never found it. I say unfortunately, but it was pleasant in a way, looking for my posts, reading others which sounded interesting.

Pleasant, but time consuming.  At least it is done now.

As I finished, I said to myself, "Wow.  Look at all you have accomplished:  52 blog posts, all of them 500 words or more, about a wide variety of subjects, since November of 2010."

I often go through my days feeling like I'm not living up to my potential or that my projects are going very slowly, too slowly.  It's good to have a reminder that I'm not completely off track.

And of course, maybe the idea of a track is flawed.  The work will take the time that the work takes.  I'm loving this post by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat, which reminds us that "Whatever gets in the way of the work, is the work."  Her post talks about the work of parenthood and the work of attentive living, but her thoughts also hold true for our creative work.

I'm also thinking about how prayers are answered, but maybe not in ways we thought.  Last night, I was reading parts of Paul Wilkes' Beyond the Walls:  Monastic Wisdom for Everyday Life, and I came across this quote (I will leave the gendered language for God that the author uses):  "I will also never be a Trappist Monk, yet I am able to come to Mepkin on a regular basis and share in this life I find gratifying and rich.  Our deepest desires will be fulfilled, discernment promises, though not always in our time or in ways that we would choose or even imagine.  God hears our prayers, knows our yearning.  He is at work in the world.  We need faith and we need patience, but he will fill the hear that is open to him" (p. 121).

I thought of my years of writing and sending work out in the first years of this century.  I had discovered Kathleen Norris and modeled my writing after her.  I sent my essays to places where she had published, but to no avail.  At the time, I would not have been able to imagine a site like Living Lutheran.  But how wonderful that it has come into being and that this publishing arm of the largest Lutheran denomination in the nation is open to such a variety of ideas that we find there.

My deep yearning of 2003, that I could write and find an audience, has been answered but not in ways I would have imagined then.

And in the spirit of full disclosure, let me confess that new yearnings have replaced the old--variations old yearnings, to be precise.  Now I dream of book length collections of these essays (to go with book length collections of poems).  I still dream of making a living with my writing.  I still yearn for a speaking tour, although when I went here and saw the 2015 schedule of Nadia Bolz-Weber, I confess that it made me tired.

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