You guys know I like to do updates in batches, so as to appear very interesting and important. I have five things going on right now. FIVE NEW THINGS. It's no big deal, really. *hair flip*
1. THIS SASSY NEW SITE
Drew, angelheart that he is, built me this new site in his very limited spare time and I am over the moon about it (and him). Of course, there are still tweaks to be made and sexy new updates we'd like to add. But as my girl Liz Gilbert says: done is better than good. So here we are.
I've been reading the Chronicles of Narnia out loud to Drew before bed. (Should I be more embarrassed to admit that? #nerds) And a few nights ago, we were reading the part in The Silver Chair where Jill meets Aslan for the first time. She is faint with thirst and comes across a stream, but before she can run to it, she spots a massive lion sitting next to the water.
God speaks to each of us as he makes us, then walks with us silently out of the night. These are the words we dimly hear: You, sent out beyond your recall, go to the limits of your longing. Embody me. Flare up like a flame and make big shadows I can move in. Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final. Don’t let yourself lose me. Nearby is the country they call life. You will know it by its seriousness. Give me your hand.
First, I feel the need to thank you afresh, readers, for the outpouring of love and support we have received after my last post. I will never forget it - who knew we had built such a community? As touched as I was by the support, I was equally... co-heartbroken? sympathy-griefstricken? secondhand mournful?...
How do I even write this? It's such a strange string of sentences to type - but I feel obligated to share them, having chosen to live in this odd space where my life is so private and yet so public all at the same time. Knowing how valuable the "me too" of this community has been, I feel compelled to tell our own story. I have this nagging worry that we are becoming an anonymous tale of grief. A vague object of pity. And I've never been one to let someone else tell my story.
One of my favorite parts about this strange blog space is the friendships I've formed because of it. One of my readers-turned-pals emailed me the other day and asked me how I think motherhood has changed me as a writer. She herself is a writer and we've often talked about the give-and-take involved in "the professional vale of soul making that a life in literature can become," as Christian Wiman -- one of our favorite authors would describe it. Writing is so influenced and yet influential. I'm trying to embrace imperfection and sharing my response to that question is part of it.
There is an enormous contingent of thoughtful people in this country who, though they are frustrated with the language and forms of contemporary American religion, nevertheless feel that burn of being that drives us out of ourselves, that insistent, persistent gravity of the ghost called God. I wanted to try to speak to these people more directly. I wanted to write a book that might help someone who is at once as confused and certain about the source of life and consciousness as I am.
At this time, eight days ago, I was riding shotgun with my hair undone and a constipated toddler in the backseat. As Aidah was working hard on her own specific set of problems, I was furiously typing away on my smartphone, just trying to keep up with the insanity that has been our lives these past few months.
You all know I like to get my zen on. I like my yoga and my mindfulness and my visualizations and intention-setting. So you can imagine my delight when good friends share their visions. My friend Lindsay emailed me this visualization she has been using and I absolutely love it: