Finding Time for Words

Void, that’s where I am.
No time.  No reflection.
Nothing to create.
I must begin anew.
Here is my attempt.
I shall falter, I shall stumble.
Like a child first learning to walk,
But instead I am a cripple…
My second time.
Can I do it?
Can I relearn to create with words?
Can I reconnect?  Feel again?
Can I stop hiding behind a veil of rationality,
and just…. Feel?
That’s why I stopped, I stopped feeling…
I stopped feeling.
Now I’m trapped.
Trapped within walls of my own creation.
Ah, so I do create.
But what do I create?
A fortress to shield me.
That pain.  It’s still out there.
The questions.  The uncertainty.
And time? Who has it?
Time, it has my sword, my words, my weapon.
But time is lost. Given away.
I am defenseless.
I am lost.
A fortress, I needed a fortress.
Protection, when I had none.
A need to be frozen in time
so as to not be destroyed by its absence.
A limbo until time could be reclaimed.
Time. Must make time.
No, man made time. Bound us to it.
No.  I must break time.  Forget it.  Free myself.
Time. It is nothing.  But I am something.
I need not chain myself to time.
No, I can live, feel, and move again – experience again.
A wall.  Another. Damn. Wall.
How can I be free of time without possessing it in abundance?
Still trapped, still chained,
Because of a belief that time is incremental.
That’s the time man made.
But, Time, it goes beyond man’s comprehension.
Fluidly moving, eternally – always there, always more of it.
That’s where I want to be.
Where Time is free from man, so that I can be free from time.
In eternal Time, I can rediscover the eternal me.
I can create, in order to know creation.
Me as creation.  God’s creation.
I can create to know me in creation. God’s creation.
And through creation I will find the Creator.
Crippled, I will surly stumble, but I will stumble into Time,
And creation will set me free.

In February 21st’s Lighthouse, Cody discussed creation in relation to God, and how when we create it is really just taking what God already gave us to more fully discover his image and our image in God.  My art form is, or I should say was and will soon again be, writing.  Since I was twelve years old I have created things with words to discover myself and God.
My first assignment freshman year was in my Honor’s reading, writing and rhetoric class.  We were asked to write a one page (double spaced) autobiography of ourselves as writers.  This was an easy task for me.  Writing was what I did, and I had often said it was the only thing I had any natural talent for.  I’ve decided to include a little snip-bit of what I wrote because I think it helps to reveal my story and where I currently am in my life.

“Instead of creating fiction, I explore my emotions, thoughts, new ideas, the meanings and reasons of life, and those around me.   Writing saves me.  It removes the confusion and puts it on paper—and through this, I discover myself.

Today I am a college student facing new realities of life.  Scared and excited, unsure and eager, I step out into this new world ready to discover.  I record it all in poetry, prose, and letters.  Each piece of art creates a mirror reflecting myself, the world, and how I perceive it.  But the image is imperfect.  There is always more to uncover, therefore always another reason to write, to edit, and to revise.  My mirror is slowly becoming clearer, and larger, allowing me to see a bigger picture.  I write to see what I may have not seen otherwise.”

 Rosemary Dinkins, Age 18

Growing up I had often fantasized about being a writer and was constantly trying to write fictional stories that had no relevance to real life.  I was soon discouraged from this pursuit by friends who basically told me I had no talent.  I was distraught and convinced that I could never successfully write.  That soon changed when my father got sick and later passed away with cancer.  I had no out-let… So I wrote.  To begin with I wrote poetry – it seemed the best way to fully express how I felt and to encourage me at the same time.  I found an unexpected release through it so I began to write more—not for anyone else, just for me.  I wrote about what I felt, my uncertainties, my doubts, my frustrations, my joys, dreams, and aspirations.  I wrote about everything.  And quite unexpectedly, through my writing, I began to discover who I was at my very core.  Why I did what I did and thought the way I thought, not just that I thought and did things.  I began to question the world around me, not merely making observations, but really delving into the whys lurking behind the surface.  Through this I gained a confidence in myself that I’d never known before – I couldn’t help but love myself because I knew myself more fully than I had ever before, and I loved who I was at the core—who God had created me to be at my core.  I created through words, and discovered myself in the process.  And through these very same words I discovered truths about God that I never learned in Church, and I began to learn who I was in God and who God wanted me to be.  The discovery never stopped, like I said my first week of college, “the image [was] imperfect,” and I knew it; I knew that I had to continue to create in order to gain a clearer picture of the truth.

I knew I needed to continue to use my words to create.  But as many of you I’m sure know, creating takes time, and as college students that is something severely lacking.  I soon found myself getting on average 4 hours of sleep a night, forgetting that meal times existed, getting involved in too many things, and spending all of my “free” time doing homework and studying.  I barely had the time to function, let alone to write.  So I stopped; and with it stopped my voyage of discovery.   I’ve put up walls to keep me from dealing with doubts, pain, fear, uncertainties, ect. that I just don’t have the time to write about and deal with – I’ve pretended like nothing has changed, like when I began to run out of time, time also stopped – but the thing about college is that you do change.  Even though I wasn’t as actively exploring and discovering through writing, I was exploring and discovering none-the-less.  In fact, because of the very nature of college and my natural love of learning, my exploration and discovery reached unprecedented heights in academic, personal, and spiritual realms.  Unfortunately I’ve been left with no time to reflect on a lot of these new discoveries in relation to the me that I froze in time.  Now I sense a growing gap between who I was and who I am… Not that I’m much different (although I am sure that I am), but more that somewhere my story is missing—as if by freezing time, I skipped time – I jumped from one chapter and suddenly I now find myself 4 chapters later with no knowledge of how I arrived here.  My “mirror” that I once saw truth in now seems too small, broken on the edges, and dusty.

I’ve come to realize at the end of my four years at UPS that I cannot pretend that time is something that I can stop and start – I can’t pretend that it is some commodity that can be saved up and used when I have enough.  Having treated time in this manner for almost 4 years,  I find myself getting ready to graduate in 3 months with uncertainties and doubts about who I am and who God wants me to be – I find myself questioning what I want out of life and what God wants for me out of life.  And I’m stuck, with only 3 months left needing the time that I spent on 4 years of college to figure it all out.  It scares me to begin creating with my words again because I know that there is an overwhelming amount of material to sift through –there are doubts, pains, and fears that I’m terrified to address.  And all I can think about is that I only have three months – time is running out – I’ll never make it through.

Time, that’s something I’ve thought a lot about lately.  It seems as if every aspect of an American’s life is determined by time.  We schedule and plan every minute of our day, forgetting that time is nothing more than a human construct.  Forgetting that in reality, there is no “time” that runs out and ends when we say it does.  No, truth be told, Time does not end – it is eternal.  I’m trying to change my perspective of time.  Because I know that with this, I will also find space to write again – something I desperately need.   I am thankful that I was asked to write this blog now.  It has forced me to do what I haven’t done in a very long time.  While thinking about this and the need to create during Cody’s sermon at Lighthouse, I was inspired to write the first third of the above poem during the service.  I haven’t often shared my work with others since high school, but I feel I need to share this piece with you, as a promise to myself that I will find my words again.  In fact, it seems like it was meant to be that I’ve come to this revelation the day before Lent season begins.  What a better way to enter this season in which we are meant to grow closer to God than by committing myself to the very means that I discover him by – writing.  So here I am, making a commitment to write everyday of the Lent season – you have my permission to ask how this is coming, and in fact I implore you to ask.  And heck, maybe if you’re lucky I’ll even share some of it with you—but only if you’re lucky!