I wrote something I didn’t intend to write. It felt important to me. I post this in the interest of “putting it out there.” Here’s what happened:
On most days, I free write for 20 minutes as part of my morning routine. It’s an adaptation of “morning pages” from Julia Cameron’s most excellent book, “The Artist’s Way.” While I try to be free and relaxed, I noticed that for several days running, most of my free writing has not been very playful. Literally, I have written to-do lists during free writing.
On the morning I wrote the bit below, I started writing normal life stuff, as I had for the past few days. A few minutes into my writing, I decided that on this morning I needed to play on the page instead of work. So, I decided to write an impromptu story about meeting some fairies in the woods. I’d set the scene and then let it unfold naturally and without planning. That seemed fanciful enough.
I closed my eyes and began to type. I pictured myself walking down a forest path and encountering a stream. I thought that I would see a fairy riding a leaf down the stream. I planned to see a fairy riding a leaf down the stream and write about it.
But that is not what I saw when I was writing.
What actually happened when I walked down that path in my mind was quite different. It spoke powerfully to me. I don’t know if it will speak to you. But, I know that I am taking the risk of putting myself out there. I know that taking this risk is important for me right now. If you are reading this, thank you.
So here is what came out after I closed my eyes, pictured the forest path, and started typing (I have corrected the typos, but nothing more):
I was walking down a forest path. The trees were mostly large and randomly spaced with very little undergrowth. I could see into the forest quite a ways. The air is cool and crisp, but not cold. Just enough chill that a good hike is comfortable. I am walking down the path when I come to a small stream. I pause to look at the stream for a moment and listen to the babbling water sounds. It is so relaxing and the water looks so cool and refreshing that I reach out to feel the water.
I touch the water. I can feel the cold water on my fingertip and the surface of the water piling up against the side of my finger. I look for fairies riding leaves and see none. I don’t expect to see fairies on leaves. I just want to. I would like to live in a magical world full of fairies and tree sprites. But I don’t see any. Is that because they aren’t there or because I can’t see them.
I look up at the sky and get a sense of rushing energy and joy. It’s like the water running around my finger but it is flowing over the whole earth. The colored rays of light bounce off the horizon and skip through the sky. It’s a joyful, indescribable dance. The dance is inviting me in.
“There are no fairies,” says the dance. “But the dance is better than fairies.”
I see waves of light, joy and love crashing through the universe and over the Earth. I am invited to live in the waves.
I feel sad because something in my soul either resists the waves or feels incapable of experiencing the waves.
Am I destined to see joy and not experience it, to not live in it?
Why on earth would I resist the wave of joy careening through the universe?
What broken part of me does not want to be part of the joy?
Is it too vulnerable? Is it that my transparency is the price for joy and shame keeps me from paying it?
Is it because I can own nothing, earn nothing in the joy? Is it pride that keeps me from joy?
Why would I not leap at the chance to join the universe’s dance of joy and light and love?
Somehow it seems like death to enter joy.
I know that I will be alive on the other side… alive in the joy. But it feels also like something must die.
God help me release whatever keeps me from entering into joy.