My friend asked if I’d been doing much writing lately. Given how little has been posted to this blog, you wouldn’t expect my answer to be “yes.” But, yes; I’ve been writing. And no; I haven’t been posting. The ravine between has been carved by troubled times.
The words in my head follow me as I walk through these dark days. Thoughts of political unrest, civil injustice, COVID fear, and environmental harm all make it to the page but never the outside world. The reason: there are fuses lying around, next to almost every word. If I allow just one unintended spark, I’ll need to defend myself from unstable dynamite.
Today, however, I read something that inspired courage, something that speaks to our collective suffering and offers a glimpse of hope, hinting at a silver lining after all. It goes:
“Pain is what it took to teach me to pay attention.”
Julia Cameron wrote that in her book, The Artist’s Way.
We are in pain as a nation. Julia’s advice is outside that context, but when we consider the value of paying attention, we see the power in her words. Especially since she follows with:
“The reward for attention is always healing.”
I hurt my back last month. The pain forced me to pay close attention and control my movements. As a result, I healed.
Pain stinks, no doubt. But better we move through it attentively than remain stuck in ignorance to the fact that changes are long overdue.