Pimp My Lent/Day 47
From Scott Osborne…
Well I’m not sure how you could avoid the themes of redemption, reconciliation, rebirth, resurrection, replenishment, re(fill in the blank). So I looked for a song that might encompass these sorts of themes without being too idealistic. This song has a forboding but celebrational quality that I like. It seems to be saying “It’s a new life. Now what are you gonna do with it?”
From Rev. Eric Folkerth…
“And, may these feeble words of ink and page be transformed into your holy spoken words, in our hearing, in our thinking, and in our understanding.”
“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
“My latest sun is sinking fast
My race is nearly run
My longest trials now are past
My triumph has begun
Oh come, angel band
Come and around me stand
Come bear me away
On your snow white wings
To my immortal home”
dare with me
stare into the face of Death
“Love is stronger”
“even the deaths we make for ourselves”
Don’t worry, I’m not dying. Not that I know of, anyway. There may be an approaching bus or asteroid with my name on it. Who knows?
WOW. Ho-ly cow. “Pimp My Lent” is over. Lent is finished. Easter is here.
I don’t believe that I did this. I can’t believe that I actually did this thing, this huge, sprawling project. Big ideas like this come to my mind all the time – ALL THE TIME – and if I’m lucky, I see maybe five percent of them to completion. Part of it’s just “life on life’s terms,” most of it is that wily she-demon Procrastination and her conjoined-twin Perfectionism.
The fact that I did this thing, wrote and posted every day for 47 days, in the midst of huge emotional upheavals – Well, I’m going to use the world ‘miraculous’ because here at ground zero, I’ve experienced exactly that. I am the first and closest witness to a miracle of Creation. I am, as Anne Lamott once wrote, just taking dictation from a five-year-old. What has been channeled through me (and not in a oogy-boogy Shirley MacLaine kind of way) here came from something bigger, bolder, smarter, more creative, more incomprehensible, more indefinable that anything my mind, or your mind, or even our collective minds can begin to fathom. Call it whatever you want. I’m saying miraculous.
This road through Lent was born because I was stuck in a pothole. I had fallen into very bad, very self-destructive habits and I could not, under my own power, escape. I couldn’t 12-step it away. I couldn’t pray it away. To keep this from turning into a therapy session, I’ll focus on the two points that most affect the writer-me.
1. Resentment. Ugly, ugly, ugly – and so painful. I was in a trap. I resented friends (and others) who were enjoying success. Why was I resentful? Ohhhh, I can go on and on about what THEY are doing, or not doing, to me and for me. The truth: I wasn’t writing. I was not doing the work. I was not, as I encourage my young writing students, applying the seat of my pants to the seat of the chair – except to spend hours online, doing, uhhh, not so much and accomplishing even less.
2. Fear. Just as runaway creativity is part of my genetic bonanza, so is runaway anxiety. Sometimes, it’s bigger than God, and those are baaaad times. There are times where my fears are so huge that they dictate to me what I can do and can’t go, where I can go, and can’t go. My creative brain cannot function in that isolation. I can write for myself, sure, but without some connection to the outside world, I will eventually burn out on a project or bore myself to death. I have live in both worlds: the place where life happens, and then away in my “room of her own,” with the door shut.
So, it was time to get to work, and it was time to dare myself and engage in the world.
Maybe it’s my theater background, but after much slipping and sliding and grasping for hand-holds about how to get out of the stinking pothole, I realized that in order to gain some purchase and climb up and out, I had to have an ensemble, and I had to have an audience. I had to be accountable to someone besides my unreliable, self-centered self. I had to drag you along with me, and in order to do that, I had to push past the fear of being rejected or, even worse, ignored and to ask: Will you please help me?
The response to the call for “pimps” was a trickle, and then it was flood, and suddenly I had more people than I needed, a list of “reserves” to move me, one day at a time, from Ash Wednesday to Easter.
Some days, this was like sunning on a flat rock on a perfect spring day: all about kicking back and enjoying the sensation. Some days, it was like weeding a cactus garden. Some days, it was like flying. Some days it was like jumping out a high window, crashing to earth, and dragging my broken carcass upstairs to jump again. (You have just been handed an obscure cinematic reference: name that film.)
Some days, the readership was great. Some days, five people tuned in. The way to get through the lean days was to DO IT ANYWAY.
It has to be about the work. It has to e about getting my fanny into the chair and opening up that channel, and connecting to the Creator spirit and letting go. It has to be about the writing. Otherwise, my tiny dinosaur brain dials right back into fear, and resentment. There is no faster, more effective way to throw myself right back into that stinking pothole than to take my focus off the work and put it on myself, or you.
I’ll keep writing. There will be more poetry, plays, essays and yes, more Cricket and family in “The Bottomlands,” coming to you here at least once a week. And yes, there will be more opportunities for you to help “pimp” this space.
Also coming soon, GREAT NEWS …that I can’t reveal yet! And also, Production Announcements just ahead, exciting stuff on the near horizon. All the beans will be spilled as soon as possible.
lives here sure
then hope like a big fat speckled cowbird
takes over the nest
kicks out some walls
throws some eggs overboard
rearranges strings and sticks
and pieces of the world around her
but not settling
PIMP MY LENT was brought to you in part by the letters of the alphabet, the Qwerty keyboard, the amazing patience of Mr. Mark Daves, Mr. Ethan Daves and Mr. Caleb Daves, and by the willingness of these people to allow themselves to publicly be referred to as “pimps”:
Amy K. Taylor
Donna Sherritt Farrell
Sandra de Helen
Ellen Vincent Zimmerman
Gretchen Elizabeth Smith
Zoe Ann Stinchcomb