I was laying in bed, just now, halfway wanting to roll over and surrender to slumber, and halfway wanting to engage in the world; I decided to read. I pulled out my phone and went to my kindle app where I looked up Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. I got so far as the introduction before I had to get up and write. In it he says,
I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn’t resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.
After that I liked jazz music.
Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.
After reading that fragment of his introduction, I “wrote the following in my head.”
Perhaps I should begin [this book] by clarifying clearly who or what God is to me, as I will refer to God by many names, each situationally appropriate. I see God as neither male nor female, but I may use his. I normally refer to God in the female sense when referring to nature. That may be habit of social conditioning, i.e. Mother Nature. I do not, however, see God and nature as two separate entities, in fact I see the opposite. I may refer to God as the divine. I may also refer to the god within me, or Me. I suppose grammatical nods to capitalization of pronouns have led me to believe that this distinguishes and deifies a thing if there is such a word. Lastly, I may not refer to God at all, at least explicitly but know that in writing this book of where I was then and how I knew God, the divine was omnipresent. If anyone has shown me that it has been Lewis Carroll. It is with he and perhaps his greatest heroine, Alice, that I came to hold presence and thus divinity with due reference. It is she, more than most, who traveled beyond rationale as an exemplar that it could be done. It is with Alice I became limitless. As Donald Miller had jazz, I had Alice; and it is with her I both begin and end.
And in that moment, having thought that thought I was different. Same as I am now.
Unsure of what to do with that piece of a thought, I knew I had to write it down before it left me as so often my thoughts do. I can sometimes get them back, but often they are gone. What would happen, I wondered just now, if I wrote every time I was called to write? Then would I have my novel? My piece of prose? My beloved? And why god?
Simple, that relationship has been the one with the best plot. No other union has led to more adventure, love, fear, acts of courage and bravery, instances of pomp and circumstance than that of me and God. If I am to tell a story, if I am to write what I
know Know then I must write of that. It has become a part of ever post, not intentionally. I never set out to, it just is. I wonder how those who do not believe or care of a higher power take my words. The thought is brief. I do not write for a congregation, nor to convert.
I got an email once from a member of a women’s bible study group saying that they read and discussed posts I had written in their group. As happy as I was to have people get something from my words, I was equally as puzzled that anyone should be discussing me or my life at a bible study group. How did that happen? It really, matters not and that thought, though a bit longer, was still brief. The place that I write from is pure and largely unfiltered. I write without intention, as it pertains to response. I do not seek an audience and if no one read at all my thoughts would remain. I suppose that is me “let[ting] go of the consequences of telling the truth.” The subjective truth that is. No capital T.
Perhaps one of my greatest thoughts was this: Words, however beautiful are feeble attempts at expressing something greater; but no collection of them can wholly define Self, Love, or God. For a writer and as one who holds words and language to such high regard this is quite a cheeky thought. However, Carroll made me realize it, as he has shown me many things. And then again…was it really Carroll? I have always said that God speaks in the way(s) that we listen. I believe that I walk with Alice, but perhaps it is only because through her love and really her need of nonsense, I came to accept myself. I came to love fully, and I came to my own center, my own limitlessness. In this case, Alice is just another form of the divine. But isn’t everything?