In class this week, I asked my students what I could do to help them get to the core of their voice, their ideas, and their lives. She spoke from the back row with soft conviction, "More writing in class. More words. More paragraphs. More getting it out on the page." I stopped everything, closed my eyes, and begged heaven for words to reciprocate her way.
Take out a piece of paper.
"What is saving your life right now? And, how will the value you are researching save you, someone else, and the world around you?"
What is saving your life right now? The question always brings words, right up my throat, until I have to write. Until the only thing I can do is release the words. Spilling everywhere. More words. More paragraphs.
Gather it all up in your palms and write.
This is what is saving my life right now........
Movie popcorn. Articles with teeth, which is another word for "meaning that resonates." Words with internal rhyme. Sunlight in clouds. Spiritual in darkness and weakness. The feel of winter fur, her coat, relieving my stress, science tells me. Dogs are good for girls. Light from night lamps, illuminating this family of five. Always, her chocolate chip cookies. The music a daughter places in front of me. A CD. French folk song by cello, her peace offering. The sound of a voice from South Africa in the palm of my hand, deep in my heart. Deep breaths after shallow breaths. Prayer. Prayers with Willa, where words run cool through my veins, bringing new hope. Hearing voices that sustain me, my heart, my ideas. my life. Grace. Grace. Grace again, again, and again. Walks and words from heaven with friends in between steps. One after the other.
Trails. Moving forward and upward with inward momentum. Moving forward on trails and feeling God's eternal love, even when there's wind. Playing a song over and over and over because it heals and inspires. Talking about belief around the kitchen table, where I teach them how to be good women, how to be human. A mother still on earth. Still teaching, still needed. Rescue. Those who I rescue and those who rescue me. Knowing this life is like ball of yarn, unraveling at its own speed, in the soft cradle of my hands. Letting go of things more easily so I can hold on to things that matter. Things that matter. Things that matter to me. Things that matter to heaven.
Every day, the list of what saves me changes.
Some sentences continue. Some sentences are written over and over, but with more emphasis. And some words just become a part of who I am and who I'm meant to become.
What is saving your life?
Listening to your life is about asking for more words. More paragraphs. More getting it on the page.