So many times we write of a door that was closed … only once it is opened. We only write of the seeking … once we have found. Of the searching once we know what it is we’re looking for. But it’s hard to write while in the midst of a search, in the midst of the silence.
Is it because I don’t know if I will find it? Is it because I’m afraid of looking like I don’t know what I’m looking for? Or even what I have found? Perhaps it is the fear of appearing unsure, that I don’t have it all together.
For so long my life had such a strong sense of purpose. And it does still, but at times, I can’t help but feeling as though I’m missing something. Not missing out on something, but actually missing something.
Is it an end in the road? Is it a curve? Is it a completely different road I’m meant to take? Or am I simply meant to continue on this path?
Somehow I feel this is what I am meant to do, so I continue walking. But there is no brilliant burst of sun in the grey sky. No moments of perfect clarity, with birds taking flight before of my eyes, or seeing the last leaf fall from a tree in a magical manner.
No songs or symphonic crescendo. Just a gentle near silence. Nearly, but not quite. This defines, in part, my journey these past months. Not silent, but no words or message clear enough to hear.
The Bible says something to the effect of, “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” That’s the verse that came to mind when I began my walk, wondering why at times he seems so distant.
Perhaps I have not really searched, not with all my heart. Or perhaps my eyes have not been opened. Am I waiting for something? For God? Is He waiting on me? Is it a little bit of both? Neither?
All I can say for sure is that it is part of the journey, and as long as the path continues to stretch before me, it is my destiny, my part, to walk forward. I am sure moments of brilliant clarity will burst through the gray. I am also sure that for the most part, I will gaze at life – past and present – through murky glass, not even considering future.
But I also know that I am not alone. And the One who walks beside me has a plan. A purpose. And as long as I trust in this, I can know it is not about the destination, the finding, the end of the search. So much is about the journey, and the One who walks with me each step of the way.
Photos can be poignant, powerful, or precious glimpses of a moment in time. Each one tells a story. Usually, the story is more than the caption you might see. Far more. If you were to browse through “75 Iconic Photos,” you will agree. The picture above is only one of them.
What observations do you make as you see a photo? What questions rise? Do you see fear on the woman’s face? I see joy mingled with something else. Is it hope perhaps? And what about the soldier whose face we see most clearly? Wonder? Respect?
Some photos strike us with a sense of irony, or even indignation and ire. Sometimes a photo does nothing more than make you smile. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words.
In creative writing, we can try to make our stories like a picture. A powerful and poignant picture that brings you a sense of wonder, makes you smile, or brings tears to your eyes. A snapshot that invokes a feeling, exposes your emotions or opinions, or opens your eyes to something you have never seen that way before.
This is the power of a photograph, and it is the power of a story.
A short story is also like a scene rather than the whole movie playing. Think about some of your favorite scenes in movies. Scenes that caught the essence of a movie somehow.
The character William Wallace shouting “Freedom” at the end of the movie Braveheart. If you did not see the rest of the movie, you would know that he was a man willing to die for what he believed, and you would probably have a feeling of satisfaction, as well as a wish that you somehow knew more about the story, more about that person.
Or Robin Williams in Dead Poet’s Society, standing on the desk and telling his students about seeing life from a different perspective. He urges the class, “We must constantly look at things in a different way.” That scene catches the essence of the movie. You see a teacher fully engaged with his students, urging them to step out of the confines of what they see and know wand embrace life. You see the faces of students responding, with wonder, disbelief, desire. You know, intrinsically, that he will change their lives.
That is the power of a scene. The power of a story. Or it can be, if we know how to write it right.
[Reposted from Clovis Adult Education Blog]