We're all writers, we who blog. We have lots to say, and we're happy for the world to read it. So perhaps we're all satisfying the demands of this chapter of the book better than any other chapter! Every one of us can say confidently, "I'm doing this!"
I'm so glad that the online world exists for writers. In Edith's day, writers felt the crushing burden of PUBLICATION. If you wrote and were rejected by the publishing houses or magazines, you were a Failure. What a crock! I personally think Edith would cheer for the blog writers of the world! Hooray for those who put pen to paper (or finger to key) and send a message out into the wide world!
A few friendly quotes from this chapter:
"Writing is certainly a medium for communication,
as all art forms are."
(This is the big idea, the one she's said repeatedly. I need it drilled into my head.
Art Is Communication.)
"Writing for enjoyment of expression ... does not need an audience of more than one."
When writing to someone who doesn't understand your mind,
"accept the challenge of making your ideas clear to that one."
On writing letters to close friends/family upon a momentous occasion like marriage,
"at such a time ... a letter is the perfect medium, and can be kept and read over and over."
"There are only a few such important or crisis days in one's life, only a few such 'endings' to one section of life and beginnings to a new one .... It is important for people to communicate their thoughts ... in such a way as to build a bridge over the 'break' ... rather than leave a misty gap of unsure hurts and undefined emotion." (Yes -- so true!)
"After all, God has communicated with us in writing."
This fact has fascinated me for years and has validated for me the act of writing. Of all possible methods He could create for communicating with us, the dominant method God chose was
This truth ennobles every word we write with care, clarity, and love. It also invites us to write to God in return. He can be your audience of one, if you long to write but fear for anyone else to read it.
Read it to God.
He wrote to you.
Many things foisted upon the reading world are not fit for ink. And many words of great beauty and excellence are nearly lost, or truly lost, to humanity. Still, Edith says, "Write!" And "Write now!" I would add one more word: "Write a poem!" Just for yourself, just a few lines, or a hundred. It may be exquisite or awful, but please write a poem. We are losing poetry in our world. Once it was a treasured, elevated mode of communication, but it's fallen on hard times. Keep poetry alive! In that vein, I'll post below a poem I wrote yesterday. The idea is a good one, but the poem itself is not good. But Edith says, "Write" and "Communicate!" so here goes:
I’d prefer to die while walking on the beach.
Past the castle-builders who battle the crumble and tide,
Past the lounging burners of skins,
Past the mighty fishermen under whose taut lines I dip.
Past even the farthest shell collector
And the introverts who eschew humans.
I walk, seeking the narrow, firm strand
Between dry seaweed tangled in old plastic
And sinking sand among the jellyfish.
I stumble farther, choosing shells, just a few.
I hold them gingerly in my palm and rinse them in a little wave.
I walk until I see people no more, until the sun floats on the water.
Weary and sad, at last I turn –
And I am on a New Earth.
I’m dumbstruck, and stand, and stare.
Is it this easy? I ask.
Lord, have I been afraid of this?
I walk back into eternity as the sun rises.