Every person both great and small is who they are behind the scenes, inside of closed doors where they are truly who they are removed from pretense and pretending faces of happy or important. As twelve worn months piled high, slightly leaning, giving way then to the year new ahead, my bones yearned to rest, to stop again with no rush to start again.
Another year, called 12.
In the sway of one year moving in to another, the gentle and timely transition of a year aged to completion and the anticipation of the next arriving, I only felt flat. Months unnamed and unnoticed were moving by like the sky stuck in fast forward moving too fast to settle familiar.
My manuscript stood finally nearest completion than ever before. I couldn’t wait to write about being so close to finish especially given the questions and my writing timeline that felt more like a noose tightening most days. Recounting the struggle and happy drudgery, I should add, the near holy like perseverance to the end and the discipline forged in the learned experiential craft of writing a book of inaugural importance, yes, I couldn’t wait to write about my writing. But when my pen laid down and my fingers recoiled from the keys following the closing line of my book, I wanted nothing more than to disappear a little.
one day you realize morning sounds monotonous the music faded, notes blurred, verses leaked into puddles, a dull echo eats the chorus and you know then better than when the music first began that monotony is the sound of dying, the stop of trying the laying down of arms to sleep through another day eyes still opened
This first book that I’ve written and shaped together from the learning and finding of God, hope, love true and unfailing and overwhelming grace in the thinnest of life took a lot out of me. My writing schedule stretched my life and time out leaving little time for me to breathe and just be. Part of me needed to be busy to distract my mind and cover over the hurt of loosing a life that I loved so. So I started writing myself - who I was and would be.
I started recaptured slices of life in little pieces. Everything felt tragedy stained. Even the good was good notably because of how stunningly it balanced the bad.
At times, I felt myself to be more of a character, the wounded hero, in the story I was living out: a good man who lost his wife now learning to raise their three little daughters alone. This feeling motivated me to be greater, to live more courageously and start all over again. I leapt into a whole new life as a writer and a single dad and for the most part, I looked at myself and situation from the outside in. The external motivation of who I was living to be pushed me ahead.
finish the book :: tell the story :: change our lives
In essence, I was shaping together my new life and our family from the outside, drawing strength from the hope of all that could and would be. We would be healthy together as a family because of what we were - single dad and three little girls learning life again. I would be a writer because of what I was doing - writing our story. I would be whole again because of all that was ahead.
That’s when the music sounded flat and faded. I was a character bound to the story, a fatalistic pace to where every day began to bleed the same way.
In the finishing of my manuscript, I pulled away from the table and determined to break from writing for a bit. I had to remove myself from myself in order to be myself fully. I got back to living on the inside, behind the scenes shaping my life and my family again.
I stayed out later with good friends talking about life and listening, slept in a little more, read a little more and met a girl.
I learned all over again that life is formed and perfected not out on the stage but behind the scenes where you are who you are, diligently and faithfully tending to the life given.
And I heard the music swell again and separate into verses full of vibrant context and a chorus echoing free.