Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Shadows

Fear is something that is far too prevalent in my life. I’m afraid of so many things: The dark. Walking down the street alone at night. Blood clots. Brain aneurisms. Dying in general. Someone I love dying. Maybe those are all related. Actually, I’m pretty sure they are.

But the thing I’m most afraid of, right now, this week? Writing. Specifically writing the part that comes next in this manuscript that I’m almost at the end of. The fact that I’m here writing this blog post instead of the next 2000 words in my story tells me that I’m scared.

So why am I so afraid? Well in some ways this next chapter is my Voldemort. I have a vague idea of what it is or what it needs to be but I can’t see it clearly because I haven’t written it. It has a great deal of power over me because it’s the point at which everything in the story gets turned on its head. It’s the point at which the most awful thing that can happen to my characters happens. I’ve even resorted to calling it The Chapter That Changes Everything - because that’s not terrifying at all.

The thing I always have to remind myself when I’m in this place is that fears are like shadows. Depending on the way the light shines, a shadow can stretch and loom or it can shrink and fade. Shadows are always going to be there, whatever their shape. Just like fear is always going to be there, taking its many forms. It’s me that has to decide what I’m going to do in light of that.

Once, not very long ago, I thought I was supposed to strive for fearlessness. I’m not so sure anymore. These days I wonder if maybe the best I can do is look my fear in the face and say: You’re not going to stop me today. And then try to make that come true.

3 comments:

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  2. I just happened to stumble upon this blog post today while doing a search for sparrows and shadows. After reading it, felt led to share these words (of Jesus Christ speaking to those who believe) with you....

    "Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" (Matthew 6:26) and "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows" (Matthew 10:29–31).

    You may enjoy this song that was very near to my grandmother's heart and mine also speaking of fear and shadows... and comfort and hope. "His Eye is On the Sparrow" http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/laurynhill/hiseyeisonthesparrow.html

    I pray that God in His grace reveals to you, Himself. That the very things that you fear....will be relieved by grace. I am reminded of a line from the old hymn, Amazing Grace. "...grace taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved..." I enjoyed your post, excellent writing. God's blessings upon you today.

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  3. Thanks very much. I'm familiar with both verses you quoted. They're actually what my blog is named after. :)

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