Writing in the World Together

One Thousand Gifts

I open the package and find Ann's words— these words that stole so many hours, so they could become gifts to others.

These are not just the words of a stranger, these hard-wrought words. They are the words of a friend. I know how hard they were to put down, to pull out. And I'm not talking about the effort of craft (which seems so effortless to me when I watch her do her thing). I'm talking about the effort of laying out the heart bare.

It is a strange thing to put our hearts in a book and see that book travel on. It is a sacrifice, this writer's life— if we write true. Because someone is going to say something or even simply ignore us. And a thousand beautiful compliments can be so easily wiped away with one dour response. Likewise, a thousand beautiful compliments can fool us into thinking we are not who we really are.

This is why we must write in the world together. A cord of three strands (or more) is not quickly broken.

I always wished I could have what the "great writers" had. Shaw had L'Engle. Lewis had Tolkien. Just friends, you see, to be there before and after and during the words. To see the heart that went in. To know the heart that is also outside the words.

In some ways, the online community is just that. My L'Engle. My Tolkien. And for today, on the table, my Ann. And so many days, my you.

Writing is not, cannot be, the solitary thing it's made out to be. Maybe this is true of any art, of anywhere we dare to put our hearts.

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Blogger Kathleen said...

Yes. Literary friends. And literary gifts.

Anonymous HisFireFly said...

And you, for me are part of what helps me in the bringing forth..


May He continue to bless the work of our hands and hearts as we gather here, in His name..

Blogger mom2six said...

You, and Ann, sharing graceful gifts of words and hearts.

Blogger Kelly Sauer said...

You can have no idea how I needed this...

Thank you.

Blogger elaine @ peace for the journey said...

You both write words of invitation for all of us to "pay attention to life." My friend, Laura, as well. Keep to it.

Just received my copy of God in the Yard. Look forward to chewing on it for this next season of my journey.


Anonymous Cheryl Smith said...

Your words ring true within my depths. I think this is the very thing I've struggled most with over the last year, and why the High Calling community has meant so much in the midst of it all. Thank you!

Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes. I agree. It gets pretty lonely out there. I can write in my sleep so to speak, but it all seems lifeless if there's not some sort of community going on.

Blogger Laura said...


journeying with you is such a gift.

Blogger Abby said...

this sung to me all the way...especially the end...

'Writing is not, cannot be, the solitary thing it's made out to be. Maybe this is true of any art, of anywhere we dare to put our hearts.'

yes. thank you.

Blogger deb said...

I love you.
I love Ann.

because yes.

Anonymous patty said...

beautiful words...

Blogger Connie Mace said...

"To see the heart that went in. To know the heart that is also outside the words."...GOD breathed words...waiting here for Ann's words to arrive...

Blogger Deidra said...

Oh wow...I'm whispering. Because you're right. You are always right. But this is especially close to home.

Blogger emily freeman said...

How is it that this is my first time to your site? How in the world is it? I love what you say, about Ann, about words. I will be back here. I need this space you have made.


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