Monday, October 14, 2013

The Right Timing to Write

There is something about waking up when the world is still sleeping which brings solace and comfort to my soul.  It provides a soothing to my aching thoughts and outermost desires as well as a sense of mysteriousness in my writing.  Because I start work at noon, I’ve made it a habit to be in bed by 10pm so I can succumb to my morning ritual of waking up between five and five-thirty a.m.  I sit and lavish in the light of my candles and stillness in the evening darkness which paves a path for the morning light. 

As my fingers tap away at the keyboard, there is an immense opening which stands beautifully crafted in front of me, giving me a window of opportunities since my mind is as fresh as the start of a kind new day.  Every so often, as I gaze up from my laptop, I notice the black slowly becoming lighter shades of dark blue with gaps of scattered white clumps.  Eventually, this all metamorphoses into a kaleidoscope of colors as the sun shares her stories and travels in shades of pink, blue, orange, and gray.  Colors leftover from her visits to the other side of the world; brought here for the freedom of our ventures in writing.   Because these moments seem to pass quickly as the sun continues to rise, I try to capture and hold onto the brevity of such a peaceful and promising portrait. 
My thoughts glide much easier from my inner-darkest secrets and imagination to the words revealed and staring back at me.  The realness and serenity of the sky provides tiny seedlings of the day which offer me a new hope in my writing.  I embellish in the insignia of God’s work which unfolds right before my eyes.  All of this beauty is a simple joy experienced through my very own porthole at the wee hours of an opportunistic morning. 

As the minutes pass and the blazing orange and pink colors battle the white light above the horizon and try to make their way through the scattered clouds, I almost feel lifted.  Echoes of planes shouting across the skyline take my mind to far off destinations and a world where I am the creator.  Yes, I am the one in control of the fate of my pen and the people and places my mind will meet.  I observe how this picture resembles so many things in my life.  For instance, the simplicity and peace in nature can sometimes be overlooked and never appreciated because acts of addiction or selfishness once destroyed all things gifted, beautiful and strong. 
I’m also an avid coffee junkie in the morning.  My first and number one priority once that 5 a.m. alarm buzzer goes off is to groggily make my way over to the coffee pot and push the brew button.  Depending on the season and my mood, there are several of favorites which I enjoy waking up to.   Around this time of year, I love Dunkin Doughnuts ground pumpkin spice coffee.  During the winter time, there is a fantastic brand called Winter Blend from Manhattan Bagel.  This is probably my favorite because it has a smooth flavor and kick to it.  I tend to splurge on a few bags so I am well equipped to conquer my tendency to stay curled up like sponge during the winter; soaking up all of the warmth as I bury myself under the blankets. 

During the summer months, I find it much easier to wake up, even at times, with no alarm.  I will still light candles and surround myself in an atmosphere where my mind can travel to those places it so desperately longs for.  But as far as my coffee goes, it is a much lighter brew since the bitterness of the cold can no longer seek rapture upon me. 

I don’t know about you, but once I get home from work, my brain is literally close to shut-down mode.  Because I tend to get home around 7:30 and 8:00pm, I usually scramble to get dinner ready, sit down to collect my thoughts after being on my feet all day, and squeeze in some time to catch up with friends and family.  As much as I fight it, I might be able to answer a few emails here and there, make some comments on the numerous blogs I follow, and even post some tweets.  However, as far as my writing goes, it is a sacred treasure which only has an opportunity to be discovered by my irreplaceable morning delight. 


Do you have any writing rituals?  Is there a time (morning, afternoon, or night) when you are more focused on your writing?  Are there times when you find yourself in complete shut-down mode and are unable to even glance at the computer screen? 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Be Not Fearful Because I am With You

One my favorite psalms states, “Be not fearful because I am with you.  Be not afraid.”  I think about both God and my mother when I meditate on this.  They are the only two entities who I ever truly felt protected me.  Even when my mother was in her darkest days, she was always my protector.  
A radio host on one of the Christian channels that I listen to in my car read this at the very same moment that I hung up the phone with my mom this morning.  I pulled over and pleaded, "God, please, let me feel some other way than I do at this very moment.  Anything, please God."
My prayer was answered when I put the radio back on and continued driving down the road.  At that very moment, the radio host read those words from the psalm stated above. 
I was searching for something to get me through the unbearable news that my mother had no choice but to bestow upon me.  I couldn’t see her, but I felt her, right through the phone.  I experienced her sadness, sorrow and frustration; all boiling down to one big moment of disappointment and despair.  I thought we had conquered these trials and tribulations when my mom received her new liver this past Christmas. 

My heart continued to sink further down into my stomach, somewhere within the driver’s seat.  I was so angry, dismal, worried, and desperate to find the strength that my heart stumbled upon when my mom had first been diagnosed with cirrhosis.  I was stronger back then because I knew that God’s grace would carry us all to a better place and understanding.  I felt it just like I felt my mother’s feelings; constantly.  I knew deep down that God was going to allow me to spend more time with her because he wanted us to carry out our mission to save His lost children.  His children who are just like what my mother used to be; zombies, incapable of thinking and making good decisions on their own, in need of someone who has been down that dark road.  God had a plan for us to show people they are not alone by giving my mother to them.  He stripped away all of the guilt and shame by giving her a purpose to save lives.

So you can imagine how I felt when my mother shared the dreadful news that her name must be placed back onto the liver-transplant list.  The doctors had warned us because an abscess had already formed on her new liver, there might be more to come.  These abscesses cause infections in the blood and clog arteries, eventually affecting all of the major organs in her body.  What is even more devastating is that this liver is going to fail on her.  I can’t even think of the right words to say as I sit here and type and try to share this with you, my friends and fellow authors.  The only thing that keeps me going is the incredible skyline outside of my window and a painting of the mountains and sea that we purchased from a small gallery in Camden, Maine. 

Nature and unconditional beauty like this remind me God has a plan.  Although I don’t have a clue what that plan might be, I must tread forward and not forget about the things that my mother and I have learned so far.  Even if my mom’s path seems a bit foggy for her now, there must be a clearing in the road less traveled ahead.  I will submit to the grace of my heart and take her hand as I try to lead her to a better and brighter light through the dark mist. 
As hard as this may be, I have to remind people about the grave message we set out to deliver.  Our life is not ours to take for granted.  God has a purpose for each and every single one of us.  My mother abused one of the greatest gifts that a human could possibly get; to live here on Earth and experience gifts like love, family, and spiritual and knowledgeable growth.  Some people believe that they can abuse their bodies until something bad happens and then they can change.  I know this because like my mother, I used to be that kind of person; on a continuously downward spiral until a wakeup call would be summoned. 

But we have to remember that sometimes, even though we have an opportunity to answer to that call, it’s not always in our ability or God’s will to have that second chance.  If we are blessed enough to have second chances like receiving a new organ or getting a slap on the wrist for committing a crime that we should have never committed in the first place, then we should consider ourselves damn lucky. 

But in cases like my mother, who at the present time, isn’t so lucky, we must remind ourselves about how precious life is.  And to NEVER take it for granted.  We must also remember what was stated in the previous psalm.  God is always with us and to not be fearful.  Maybe this is a testament to furthering our faith in Him by trusting his faith in us.  When there is a mutual agreement of faith being exchanged, there is room for hope in the regret of our past decisions.  We must leave our fate in the palms of His hands.

Was there ever a time that you had no choice but to just surrender to certain times in your life that you had no control over or couldn’t change?  How did this affect you?  Have you or a loved one suffered so tremendously that you decided to leave those sufferings in the hands of God or a higher power you believe in?