Writing: Answers, Leadings, Sex, Darkness

I wake wondering, What to write? Where to go next?

Three chapters vie for my attention: Presence, Silence, Sabbath. I see their similarities too much, cannot untangle them, cannot decide... which path to walk. Each could follow the chapter I struggled through last Saturday... a chapter on Prayer, that took great boldness to write (I'm rather Victorian, really, when it comes to discussion of intimate union, but there it was... a chapter on prayer, complete with a thorn flower's invitation to sex, rooted in Song of Songs).

So I wake, wondering. A prayer upon my lips, Tell me, show me. Where to tread? I daydream in the darkness before I rise to meet the day, with my cup of Earl Gray and banana muffins I will freshly bake. I daydream about Presence, Silence, Sabbath.

And this keeps pressing me: Levitical laws about separating the woman during her 'time'... maybe, inexplicably, the 'time' is conduit of grace... the mandated separation is grace to man, woman and coupling. Too, Song of Songs calls to be extended through another chapter. But which one? And I don't want to write of this anyway. People will find me too bold. It's embarrassing, I think.

Presence is beginning to settle itself as the choice, but still I toil in my thoughts. I'm not courageous enough to go forward with these ideas. What will people think? Before going downstairs to mash bananas, grind flour, mix and bake, I enter my study and grab a book I'd decided not to read. The Tree of Life: Models of Christian Prayer. Too academic sounding. Too... I don't know. I open the book and land on a section called 'Prayer as Presence.' There is talk of Song of Songs. There is talk of darkness and separation. I think of Leviticus. I think of blood. I think of the cross. I think of rhythms of separation and union.

Thank you, I say aloud.

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Blogger Joelle said...

Yes, I have had times when a text gratuitously laid itself in my hands, offering just the truth I needed.... Your thoughts here on women's imposed Sabbath, the monthly menstration, reminds me of Diamante's terrific novel, The Red Tent, a woman's view of the biblical story of Dinah. Again, can't wait to read your book!!!! But take time.

Blogger sarah said...

I have always found religion to be a very sensual thing, which is why I am drawn to the Catholic faith - and conversely why I am repelled by it! Very few religious institutions have a calm, graced acceptance of sensuality. I guess its the Gnostic influence. But God made out bodies, every cell his being, every nerve attuned to him.

Anonymous Be Thou My Vision said...

Sharing this kind of topic is very helpful-- thank you so much!
Looking forward for more of your posts soon.


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