I sat in the living room early this morning. The house was still dark and silent, except for the sound of a pup chewing a bone at my feet and a few cough, coughs from a little girl echoing from an upstairs bedroom. I opened my laptop, hoping I would find the bravery to write, but knowing that was not likely to happen. Instead I meandered over the pages of those braver than I. The real writers. The professionals. In my meandering, I happened upon this post by Sarah Bessy. (Side note: read her blog, buy her book because both are incredible. Like, really incredible.)
Anyway, as I read her words, I got that heart pounding thing that happens when something resonates deeply. I immediately sent the blog to my rockstar crocheting friend and attached the words, “this touched me and made me think of you.” She wrote back, “Love, love,love.” She then referred to this statement from the blog. . .
I love the work itself – it is tactile and it forces me to be present there in the moment, to pay full attention. It’s humble and repetitive, challenging and meditative. I love to create beautiful things that people love.
. . . and asked if I felt the same about photography.
I was a little surprised by her question, because as I read Bessy’s essay, I never once thought about photography. In short, yes, I do feel those things about photography. I love the act of it, I love creating beautiful things for people, I love the way it forces me to be present, the way it allows me a glimpse into the lives of people. I love the challenge of it and I love to create things that people love. All of this relates to my professional field and yet. . . photography didn’t cross my mind.
I answered my friend, I feel these things when I write. I told her, but I talk myself out of writing all the time. What do I have to say that hasn’t been said? What can I write that hasn’t been written? I am held back by fear. . . by insecurity.
Who am I to write? The question paralyzes me. It keeps my hands chained behind my back. My feet shackled to my insecurities. Stay in your own lane, a voice from within screams.
Stay in my own lane.
But what if I want to veer into another lane? Even if just for a moment?
Sarah Bessy wrote, “I’ve stopped asking whether or not anyone needs my writing or my knitting. Because I need it. I do it because I was made to it, because it makes me feel fully alive to do it. Because I’m working out what God has already worked in. . .It’s a bit of beauty and wholeness, an act of discipleship to Creator, a resistance of professionalization and commercialization to simply take time to participate in the wonder of stepping back to pronounce something as entirely good.”
It’s worth repeating her words: a resistance of professionalization and commercialization to simply take time to participate in the wonder of stepping back to pronounce something as entirely good.”
Should I tell Charlie to stop playing soccer if it appears he won’t go pro?
Should I tell Chanelle to stop making art if it appears her picture won’t hang in the Louvre?
Should I tell Meadow to stop singing if it doesn’t sound like she’ll win a grammy?
Should I tell Chad to stop cooking amazing meals if he’s never going to own a restaurant in NYC?
Should I stop running if I’ll never earn an Olympic gold?
Of course not.
I may never earn a dime by writing. Awards will not grace my walls. My words may never change the world. But Sarah’s words remind me that sometimes it’s enough to do it simply for the joy of it.
If you like to dance, you should dance.
It you love to sing, you should sing.
If your soul breathes deep when creating, you should create.
Today, I am remembering that the end result pales in comparison to the act of the doing. In fact, the joy is in the doing.
Peace & Love Friends. . .