Touched by an Angel
Today was one of those weird days when I had no idea what to blog about. This is unusual, as possible topics normally jump out at me. But my muse wasn’t cooperating, and the lack of creative fuel drove me nuts. Writer’s block has never been an issue—procrastination is my downfall, not a lack of ideas—but I’m not procrastinating and I’m not blocked. It just seems that everything I start falls short of the mark.
It took some time, but I figured out why. It’s the pervasive divisiveness that’s to blame, and all that it entails, along with the hurricane disasters, the fires, the floods, the hunger, the man-made dangers, the anger. So much anger. The burden of negativity is heavy today, twisting the gut and tightening the chest. How can I write my usual fare of cheerful links, tail-wagging dogs, or crazy cat shenanigans? How to focus on things so banal when all the news I read shows the world upside down and peeling apart like a spoiled onion?
With my fingers poised on the keyboard, but unable to write a single decent sentence, I stared out the window at the rippling water and the trees, at the Spanish moss swaying in the Gulf breeze—Mother Nature’s Rapunzel. A silver fish breached the surface of the water, startling a turtle sunning himself on a branch floating among the lily pads. The turtle tumbled with a splash and reappeared a moment later on the bank where he crept to a shady spot and settled down to continue his nap, free of scaly mischief-makers.
Rigby, our yellow Lab, watched the activity from the comfort of the recliner while enjoying the last vestiges of afternoon sunshine. He was content and lazing unaware of the worldly woes that created such an ache in me, and I saw clearly then how I not only could write of those inconsequential things, but why I should, why I needed to.
Some are called to write about those other things, those darker real life events that break my heart and find me praying for grace at odd hours of the day. I wonder how people researching and reporting current events manage to wade through the muck every day and still maintain any sort of positive outlook. Maybe they don’t.
I’m grateful that writing the tough stuff is not my calling, that for the most part all I have to do is make things up. Driving fictional characters into emotional torture is nothing compared to seeing and writing about real suffering. Thank God my muse leads me to more tender things. The world needs those writers that bring true life stories to the world; we need to know what’s happening around us. But the world needs those other things, too—the beauty wrought by outside breezes, the soft gold of a waning afternoon, love lost and found. I’m grateful to have that muse in my blood, even if she is silent today.
I’ll leave you with a poem by the great Maya Angelou. This always makes me cry, but it is one of my favorites.
Touched by an Angel
by Maya Angelou
We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls
We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free
Wishing you every blessing, my friends. See you next week.
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