“How’s your writing going?” he asked.

It’s the question I’m coming to dread more than any other (except for maybe “Been on any good dates lately?” – bless your heart), because whether songs or prose, the answer is “It’s not, really.” The thing I love to do more than anything in the world is bringing nothing but disgruntled resentment these days. Inspiration is nowhere to be found. The well hath run dry.

Of course, I’ve been through this kind of thing enough times to know that the drought isn’t permanent – at least, I hope it’s not permanent. One never quite knows for sure. Surely, at some point, writing is going to bring me joy again? My thoughts are going to arrange themselves in some sort of semi-organized fashion? Or maybe it’s going to take me grabbing them by the horns and wrestling them to the ground like a cowgirl, the kind I used to watch at the Montrose County Fair when I was a kid.

Life is fairly daily these days. The rhythm has become predictable – which, how is it that I can both appreciate and despise routine? Foxy the Wonder Pup is growing, we go on a lot of walks, I ride my bike to work, I grocery shop. There is coffee in the morning and a crock pot of food at night. I haven’t been on a plane in a month – an abnormally long stretch for me. I see friends, I clean the house, I rearrange the money in my bank accounts. And I think ahead to 2014, wondering what it might bring, praying for the things that I hope for.

Hope is hard – because I’m a person of action. If there’s something I want, typically I make it happen. Time waits for no man, and especially not a woman. But some things aren’t up to me, and no amount of posturing or positioning will make a difference in the ultimate outcome. This reduces me to – okay, tears of frustration – but also a reliance, a faith, a giving over of myself, a trust that something, whatever it is, will be.

“I have to write these things now,” I told her, frantic. “If I don’t, they’ll pass by – I’ll lose them – they’ll spoil.”

She smiled at me. “They won’t spoil. Maybe they just need to marinate for a while.”

This is an “in between” time – in between the exciting moments, in between the sowing and the reaping, in between the preparation and the meal. And in the quiet, slow rhythm of it all, I remember one of my favorite quotes by Frederick Buechner:

“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”

All moments are key moments. Life itself is grace. The humdrum is valuable, if only I can find the patience to sit with it for a while. And in the midst of the mundane, I want to engage with life with the same enthusiasm as this one – because she is bringing me a lot of joy.





  1. Kendall on December 2, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    I know the space in-between you are in. And funny enough wrote a piece for The Curator about it and even quoted the same words from Buechner. Great minds think alike:)

  2. Katie on December 2, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    This is so hard, and so true. I’m in an in-between space right now with my writing, too. Thanks for those words from Buechner.

  3. Leigh Kramer on December 2, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    I relate SO MUCH to this, Annie. The Buechner quote ties in well with Nouwen’s words on waiting that I’ve been meditating on the last few days: “patient people dare to stay where they are.” I am not patient but it’s hard for me to resist a good dare.

    (It’s uncanny how much this all ties into the post I wrote for Deeper Family this week. It’ll be up Friday.)

  4. Michael on December 2, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    Oh my gosh, I LOVE your Foxy Brains! Yes to Buechner, yes to Henri Nouwen. But do not forget Miss Emily:

    “Hope” is the thing with feathers –
    That perches in the soul –
    And sings the tune without the words –
    And never stops – at all –

    And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
    And sore must be the storm –
    That could abash the little Bird
    That kept so many warm –

    I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
    And on the strangest Sea –
    Yet – never – in Extremity,
    It asked a crumb – of me.


  5. Michael on December 2, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    PS…my writing has been mostly non-existent for the last year. I feel your pain, I really do.

  6. Sarah on December 3, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    Foxy Brains is pretty cute. I remember when my puppy first got to play in the snow – so much fun. Dogs make life better.

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