It’s Labor Day, that American holiday where we celebrate workers, summer, and back to school all rolled into one. My family and I spent most of the weekend relaxing at the water, but we came home in time for a day of transition before heading back to work and school tomorrow.
Even though Labor Day is associated with not working, I woke today with one intention: writing. Writing is my labor of love, and the book that has been forming inside me was clamoring to be released in words today. This sense of being compelled to write is new to me, and it is wonderful.
It was 6:30 this morning when I poured some coffee and made my nest in the sun room facing out to my patio at my laptop. I started strong on this book a few months ago and have been pushing myself forward chapter by chapter. It’s been sluggish, though, and I have been struggling a bit to find my voice. I wouldn’t call it writer’s block, because I have always known what I wanted to say. I haven’t been sure how to find my voice in a new genre, so I have been experimenting with tones from the highly academic to the extremely colloquial.
I took a break for a few weeks to work on the “spiritual autobiography” which is part of my application to be considered for ordination. At the time, I was surprised that I was so compelled to write my own story when this book had been knocking at my soul for so much longer. I also have no time pressure on the autobiography, so it goes against my grain to have prioritized it. But today, my writing took me to a place where I was discussing the importance and meaning of autobiographical writing. My writing about this had an authenticity that had been missing before. I realized that other than these short excerpts on my blog, I had never paused long enough to put my story into words. Suddenly, the meaning and significance of what I was writing about clicked in a deeply personal way.
I have been learning to honor wisdom on my journey, so this realization together with the events that transpired from Friday through today make sense in that context. I have been feeling a tug in my spirit about a framework for my book. Floating in the brackish waters I recently wrote about solidified who I am, and how to embrace convergence in my identity. That gave me the inspiration today to sit, and write, and allow the voices of my experience to converge into words.
At around 5:00 this afternoon, I finally stopped writing when I realized that the words that my fingers had just finished typing were the same visual image that I had been gifted with a year ago. It was like that gift had been percolating deep within me, and had finally found the right time to spring to life. I moved from writing, to praying. My prayers were sheer gratitude.
This Labor Day, I am exuberant about the emergence of this labor of love as it begins to take shape. I am grateful tonight for the small point of light that emanates in writing, from words that flow from my soul.