This is the question I have been answering every night for almost two weeks now. When I pull the blankets up high under his chin and we say our prayers together, my two-year-old son inevitably asks, “What is God?” My answers reflect what I have been raised to believe God is (and all-loving, omnipresent being that we reflect as His/Her creation), but in the end, my son is never satisfied with my response (nor am I for that matter, especially when I hear it come out of my mouth).
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My voice decided to take a vacation a couple days ago. I don’t know how long it will be gone, but I’m amazed at all the life lessons I’m learning as a result of not being able to speak. It reminds me of my time as a princess at camp, except this time is easier because I don’t have to think about not speaking; my body’s taken care of that for me. At first, when I realized my voice was gone, it felt debilitating. I didn’t want to leave home for fear I wouldn’t be able to communicate with people if needed, and I felt like an essential part of me was gone. But when I pushed past those fears and ventured out, I found other creative ways to express myself and actually had a lot of fun.
I recently spent a few days with my immediate family in a sort of early Thanksgiving. It was the first time we’d all been in the same place in a year. I can honestly say I had some of the best moments I’ve ever had with all of us together. Tears were shed, laughter resounded off the walls and embraces were suspended in a timeless place where we were both content if we never let go.
Even though the events, the doing, of our time together was far from extravagant family fun (going through old boxes in the garage and wandering around Ikea for hours among some of our adventures), it was in the being together that we found ourselves.
So I’ve started my novel, and I have to say the flow of ideas is incredible. The power of letting go of outlining or planning or obsessive researching, and just plain writing is unbelievable. The characters are taking me places I never could have imagined. I’ve read that each writer’s process is different, and that some work best with outlines and others work best just going for it. I just never expected I would be a “go for it” writer. But with NaNoWriMo, that’s my only option (unless I want to spend every waking hour of my life this month on my novel, which just isn’t practical since I’m also raising a 2-year-old and running a business).
So how does one tap into that amazing flow of ideas?
We are all the creative artists of our own lives. Each day, whether we realize it or not, we start anew. A blank canvas before us, we stumble out of bed and begin the process of painting our life once again. We can change the image before us so easily, with a simply brushstroke, a new thought. Yet how many of us continue to relive the same stagnant image of ourselves and our lives day after day? Why is this?