Being productive. It’s a common enough expression. I’m sure some Zen cats have taken it apart to stress, or would it be un-stress, the being part. Production gets the reputation, the practice behind it gets repeated, rarely completed, and competes with everything for it’s very existence.
I sometimes produce writing. I’m not very disciplined. I have two deadlines a month that I’ve honored almost without fail for a little over five years. I’ve written and published a book. I’m developing a webpage to catalogue over one hundred poems and essays, so yes I sometimes produce writing.
I mention this because it has only been a week or so since I realized I have something to say.
I play a saxophone for fun. I’m not in a band, haven’t had a lesson in way too long, but because I had a good foundation a few decades ago, and because I listen to music and have musical friends that support me, I can make a musical statement that makes sense in a simple tune. It is satisfying to do so, a reward for studious effort, an homage to who and what I’ve listened to, it is part of who I am, that being thing has a musical inclusion clause.
It is not required that I choose between being or producing as a writer or a musician. In fact I’m working on a book about the Holy Ghost as Muse called, The Sound of Spirit, as a way to satisfy the urge to weave these two expressive modes into a more unified life fabric. My recent epiphany revealed that not practicing my music shows up in my playing, and my spirit, as a malaise, a discomfort, that is only alleviated by getting the horn out of the case and into my mouth.
Curiously I had no such corresponding nag on my psyche for writing. I get inspirations here and there, and take pains to get something written, but it never occurred to me to practice my writing. I take writing for granted, so much so that I once had a dream that Saint Peter met me at the Pearly Gates and whomped me over the head with a bar from the gate because I didn’t take the gift of storytelling seriously. The dream was so real I checked for bruises when I woke up.
And then out of the blue, that may or may not be the color of the Holy Ghost’s eyes, I wrote something the other day because I had something to say, even though I was days away from having a deadline. I published it on my webpage and just like that, with a few keystrokes, and my copy and paste skills intact, I entered the real world. I became awake in a dream I’ve had since I was a child learning how to hold a pencil.
I hadn’t always wanted to become a writer as I intrinsically knew I am one, but I didn’t value the position as much as I would if I were able to play a jazz chorus and nail the 12 bar turn around. Because it was natural to me I lessened the supernatural value of the gift until I saw I was grieving the Holy Spirit by not realizing the gift was hand made, especially for me, and wrapped in layers and layers of treasurable paper that I would never tire of exploring.
My time in the world is more connectable when I type something out for public contemplation. Journaling, in my case, is a complete waste of time as my penmanship would likely get me accused of writing in tongues. God, in His wisdom and mercy, has got me tech savvy enough to sit up in my bed and write on my tablet. No small feat, maybe not parting of the Red Sea, or walking on water, but it raises the eyebrows, and hopes, of those who know me as a two fingered letter selector.
I am an equipped saint, ready to quip, and quicken. The writer inside of me is writing to the reader, or writer, inside of you because God, Our Father, wants us to be better acquainted. Jesus is the Author and Perfecter of our faith, and a great Editor. He justly changed my deadlines, into lifelines.