- Journal for 15 minutes each day. No less time, but perhaps more time if I feel lead.
- Blog once a week.
- Memorize Psalm 139 and a yet-to-be selected poem.
The second is a little embarrassing to admit, but fun, too. I listen to a lot of music at work while I type at a computer all day. Back in December, I saw the movie 'Frozen' and spent a couple weeks at work listening to the soundtrack. The sophistication of the lyrics caught my attention along with the heartfelt vocals. I started a Pandora station with songs from Disney movies and Broadway musicals, anything from 'Annie Get Your Gun' to 'Mary Poppins.' Lyrics catch my attention because so many of the songs tell a story and use the classic pairing of words and music to explore the meaning of life. Listening to these songs gave the week-in-week-out routine of work and home a new context. Life is full of adventure, humor, sorrow, and routine and words put to music give life poignancy. You can even sing to people instead of talking to them, like I did with my housemate when she bought a new car. She'd been thinking about it for a while, so when she finally drove the car into the driveway, I sang to her: "You did it! You did it! You said that you would do it, and indeed you did" (from My Fair Lady). She only thought me half-crazy.
The third concerns the two books I read for my Sunday School book discussion class. In January and part of February, we read 'Cry, The Beloved Country' by Alan Paton, a novel about South Africa in the 1940s. In March and April, we're reading a non-fiction book called 'Letters from the Land of Cancer' by Walter Wangerin, a series of letters the author writes as he's experiencing cancer. The written words on the page are beautiful, but the beauty of the words and stories also extends to the discussions we enjoy in class each week. Our conversations allow us to question what we don't understand, extend the stories to our lives, and share the phrases in the books that challenged, encouraged, and moved us. The language of the stories allows us breathing room to discuss subjects that are challenging--sorrow, justice, death, and love. These subjects need the flesh and blood of stories to come alive and move us.
All these experiences led me to miss the process of reflection that comes with thoughtful writing. Here's my attempt, if only for the Lenten season, to move the words from inside my head and heart to the page, paper or computer screen, and to put flesh and blood on my own story.