Its funny and sad how quickly I forget this is true of me. It hasn’t always been so, but I find that since college it has become increasingly important in my life. I wonder sometimes if all people have a creative spirit that crys out for expression. My theology says yes, but my experience suggest not – or perhaps I need to expand my own definition of ‘creative’. Surely engineers and scientists create. Hobbies of collecting and organizing have within them a sort of creativity. I don’t know. What I do know is that writing is one of the most important disciplines in my life – and I’ve been thirsting due to it’s lack.
Writing brings a rhythm to my thoughts, which is were I live most of the time anyway. And writing also incarnates that which is mental and spiritual – it is an act of making concrete, through pen or keyboard, that which previously only existed in the ether of my self-knowing.
Writing is a way of expelling harmful things, just as waste CO2 is spent when we exhale. Thoughts and feelings and impressions can build up over time – the failure to release them in this way may cause me to faint.
Writing is also, in a strange way, an opportunity for me to inhale new and fresh ideas – a way to receive them, touch them, experience them concretely rather than just have them float by.
This rhythm then, the exhale and inhale of ideas brings life to my spirit – inspires me. In Hebrew – ruach – and in Greek – pneuma – the same word can mean either breath, wind, or spirit – or more than one of these at the same time. So my own spirit, and God’s Spirit, and the wind of my own hot air and the cooling breeze or empowering wind of God, and the natural, necessary, ongoing breathing of my own life – along with God breathing into me continually the Breath of Life – in each and all of these ways is writing breathing for me. There may come a time when I am not able to write as easily. I pray if that day comes, that I will know I have not wasted these days, and that I will receive that new life with hope in God.
For now, though, I breath, if irregularly – sometimes quickly, other times slowly. Now shallow breaths, later deeper breaths. I take a breath in and hold it, allowing my lungs to process as much oxigen as possible, before I finally release in gratitude.