Write it all down.
Don't assume that any of it is stupid. No judgement in the notebook. The notebook is not a critic. The notebook doesn't have a brain. You just write in it. Nobody has to see it. You don't even have to see it if you'd rather forget what page you've written on.
Because you'll need those old words sometime when everything's getting moved around in your life and you can't count on the ability to think clearly - let alone write.
My clothes don't fit.
Some of my favorite work doesn't fit. Might never fit again the same way it used to.
My wedding rings don't fit.
The furniture in half our house doesn't fit because it all has to be rearranged for a human being 20 times smaller than my husband and me.
My ideals don't fit.
You know - my standards - my goals - the things I hold up to guide my actions.
This has happened before. I haven't been pregnant before, but there have been other adjustments that seemed monumental.
I bet it's happened to you, too. And it's ok. All part of the human experience. I don't really mind it - especially because this season of transition is something I chose - even prayed for. But sometimes we pray for something, wish for it . . . and then when we get it, we aren't sure what to do. It's normal for us to wander aimlessly when we're in new territory. How else are we going to learn our way around?
Do you remember thinking you could be just about anything? Some people have an innocent time as kids and get to go through this period of time when they really do believe that they could become anything. It's a short lived experience, but more than a little bit beautiful.
When I was a teenager one of my relatives told me that when I got older I'd have to "shrink" my dreams a little bit. She said it wasn't bad. But she said most people found that the older they got, the more carefully they had to choose the things they meant to accomplish.
Graduate school. You want to know how little you know? Go to graduate school. You want to know how many other people are more talented than you are? Go to graduate school. Or how many people are more insightful? Graduate school.
That sounds unpleasant, but it's not.
I've written before about the idea of being given freedom through humility. This all connects. When we understand that our scope is allowed to be small, we can become highly effective. We can really change something - maybe just one thing. When we realize that it's ok for us to not know everything . . . when we accept the fact that we won't know everything, we begin to relax our grip on this giant picture we've built for ourselves. We allow ourselves to zero in on a few important things, and then maybe we find some peace in our work.
I just spent an entire liturgical season not writing songs so that all of my creative energy could be spent on doing the best Christmas music I could organize at the church.
My brain works that way.
I have to give up one creative thing for another - they have to take turns. And usually I don't mind giving one up to support the others. Last Christmas I was still trying to get album concerts together for my new CD. The music at the church suffered - it just wasn't as unique to the folks there as it could have been. I didn't give it enough energy. I knew it. Many of them knew it. This year I knew it had to be the most important thing on my plate . . . because it was in a growing season . . . because I knew I would have to give it up soon . . . lots of reasons.
And it was great.
But I didn't write any songs. For four months. Not one single song.
See - earlier when I said that my ideals didn't fit . . . what I meant was that some of my goals can't share space with each other. It's always been that way a little bit, but I've always been able to juggle enough to give each thing a fair turn. Not anymore, though.
I'm creating a human life. Not very many things can share space with that (including my internal organs).
I sat down at the piano for the first time in months with the intention to write - this was just the other night. And of course, I still couldn't. I am just absolutely burnt out. Making plans for my little family and trying to help with the transitioning of a church program I have poured my soul into - I don't have a whole lot of creative power left for anything else right now. So when i came across these lyrics, I smiled . . . old lyrics . . . lyrics that never got a tune because I wrote them when i was feeling like this. Depleted.
I know it won't be very long before the song
Flies away and scatters from my bitter tongue.
What can my ears be rested on?
Though I'm broke and lost for hope, I know You'll come . . .
So instead of trying to make something brand new, I sat there at the piano with these old words and I picked at notes and chords . . . and this was born . . . the first original music in months . . . hope.
It gives me hope.
It's still ok for things to take turns. It's still ok for me to not know everything, for me to not create everything. And a 4 month dry spell is ok when it means giving energy to the closing of a very important chapter.