Monday, September 13, 2010

The Vision

"While writing, the very toil gives pleasure." -Ovid, 10 B.C.

It is toil. The very act of picking up the pen and staring at the empty page is enough to discourage any writer. Opening the lap top to stare at the blinking cursor, begging to move across the screen can be pure torture. And then there is the fact that no matter what you write, no matter how you put it, it is only a fleeting shadow of what you are really trying to capture with your words. Why? I suppose it's like the artist being frustrated with his painting, proclaiming it is nothing next to the image in his mind and everyone looking at him as if he's crazy, for obviously the painting is beautiful to them. However, they cannot peer into his mind to see the incredible version of what he is seeing. How do I capture it? What I'm feeling, what I want to say, the characters in my head begging to get out, to be given life and live and breath on paper. How do I go about creating them? The wonderful creatures, unbelievable worlds, places where anything can happen, hasn't it already been written? Whatever I say has already been thought of, there is nothing original left to be written, so why even try? Ah, if it were only that simple, giving up and not writing at all. To not write because it may have already been said is no excuse to not write, if you really are a writer. There is an ache to write if you're not writing and there is an ache to not write if you are. The ache, the yearning to depict that which dances through your mind, to catch the vision and paint it into being with your words. Whether I'm writing about some magical land, something ordinary and beautiful I've seen in this world or some new treasure Jesus has revealed, to catch it is always the dilemma.
Is that not always the dilemma in this life, to catch the vision He has given? What is it for you? Maybe it's not writing, maybe it's painting or teaching or being a mother or playing an instrument. Find the vision, let the passion for what He has given fill you, and then spend every ounce you have pursuing that which you know is worth giving all you have for. What He gives is never given in vain if we pursue who He is with all our hearts. For He gives the strength to accomplish the catching of the vision that He wants us to have. So, though I may never be published, I'll continue to pursue that which He has given and trust that though it may be only a fleeting shadow of what I'm truly thinking, He can use all that I am to speak of all that He is, whether in a story like Narnia, straight truth from His word, or maybe just a simple blog. For the more I pursue Him, the more I discover that truly it is the toil that gives the most pleasure.

"The fondness for writing grows with writing." -Epictetus, 100 A.D.

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