Even as I begin this first sentence of a piece about writing, I begin to think that I have nothing to write. The question is whether to push through and perhaps find something in my meanderings that's worth giving to the world.
I have a strange relationship with writing. When I do write, I often get nice compliments. I suppose I'm not a bad writer. I keep a blog, though I don't post as often as other more prolific bloggers. I think that's because I don't like to write about nothing. God knows we don't need any more blogs about how cute a person's pet is or how my friend is being a jerk or how stupid people can be. I want to communicate something profound, something that I have to reach down into my heart to retrieve.
But life doesn't always feel profound, and profundity is often stumbled upon in the mundane. I suppose that means I need to allow myself to just write, whether I think I have much to say or not. Chances are, I'll find something, or something will find me.
So life is in the mundane. Nothing new being said there. Merton and Nouwen have said that better than me. But perhaps it's important to keep saying it in new ways. A small tree changing colours outside my window isn't just dying as it does every fall. It's bursting into flames, and if I stop to look at it for a while, I'll see that it's not being consumed. When I take the time to see that, I might hear the voice of God telling me that I'm standing on holy ground.
So perhaps my job as a writer, even a sporadic writer like me, is to find the burning bushes. I don't need to worry about how many people will read what I've written. I don't need to worry that the volume of my collected works could be read in a couple of hours. I simply need to write, because to write is to stop and take notice of the Angel of the Lord, burning like fire in the trees all around me. To write is to notice the profound lurking beneath the mundane and say, “I must go over to look at this remarkable sight.”
And maybe that's something worth giving.