Sunday, May 19, 2013

Fallow Times and Pentecost Periods

I can't remember when I last wrote a poem, although I could easily look it up.  It's probably not as long as I think.

But more importantly, I can't remember when I last felt like a poet.  When did I last make interesting connections of unusual links that would make a good poem?

I've been feeling swamped by many things, all of them good:  a curriculum project that will pay money, trying to think about a different house, visits from family, and some trips.  Like I said, they're all good, but they have pulled me away from creative work, nonetheless.

At these times, it's easy for me to sink into despair.  It's easy for me to slip into self-recriminations.  At times like these, it's important to remember that these fallow times are important.  I may not yet sense the seeds that have been planted, but they have been planted.

Bookgirl has written a great post where she considers the time between Easter and Ascension.  It's the time where Jesus has risen from the dead and reconnects with his followers.  It's a low-key time, in many ways:  "As I thought about the omission [of post-Easter, pre-Ascension stories], I realized how important these resurrection appearances are in my faith. Calling Mary by name in the garden, inviting Thomas to see his hands, offering breakfast on the shore and reinstating Peter, breaking bread with Cleopas and his companion after walking along the road to Emmaus, giving the great commission to the apostles, each of these is personal and specific. They are immediate and urgent and tender. They are all moments that resonate deeply with me, that help me process the rest of it, that guide me in knowing who Jesus is, that are a great part of the substance of my faith."

She uses the word tender.  I would like to be tender with my creative self.

My creative self is feeling a bit scared right now.  She's looking at financial documents and wondering why a bank would agree to loan us so much money so soon after the housing crash.  My creative self is worried that she'll have to work multiple jobs, even though my budgetary self has shown her that it can work out with the current income numbers.

My creative self is wondering if she'll ever write a poem again.  My creative self wants to get back to the memoir.  My creative self worries that the new house won't be as fruitful a space as old houses have been.

I need to cook my creative self a picnic breakfast on the beach.  Metaphorically, I'm saying that I need more poetry to read.  I need to reassure my creative self that after fallow times can come Pentecost times.

What better time than today? 

Today is the feast of Pentecost.  For those of you who have no reference, Pentecost is the day that comes 50 days after Easter and 10 days after Jesus goes back up to Heaven (Ascension Day). We see a group of disciples still at loose ends, still in effect, hiding out, still unsure of what to do.

Then the Holy Spirit fills them with the sound of a great rushing wind, and they speak in languages they have no way of knowing. But others understand the languages--it's one way the disciples argue that they're not drunk. And then they go out to change the world--but that's the subject for an entirely different post.

Today I think about those disciples who had been living in a post-Easter time unsure of what will come next.  They needed time to learn to live in a post-Resurrection time, time to find the signposts in the new world.  They needed time to trust the promises that had been revealed.

 I think of Pentecost, a day that shows that fallow times can burst into fertility very quickly.

I am ready for a Pentecost time when it comes to my creativity.  Heck, I'm ready for a Pentecost time in many areas.  I've been waiting patiently (I have been patient, haven't I?).  I'm ready for fruition!

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Thanks for the shout-out. As we move beyond the post-resurrection appearances and into the coming of the Spirit, I find myself wondering how we live into that, and what is next.