I love writing. I love blogging. I also love feeding my children.
This year has been so tough. The cost of living crisis has impacted so many of us, and bills keep climbing. More and more of my time has been spent on the ‘day job’, writing for money, with less and less capacity to write for creativity, for activism and for faith. This blog was the first casualty. Oh, how I missed it.
Writing is not just a functional, communication tool. It is an expressive art. It is a means of protest. It is a political act. It brings people together around shared ideas, builds connections and communities. Writing inspires, ignites passions and motivates movements. Writing sows seeds in the minds of others, who in turn grow their own expressions of art, politics or healthy living. Writing can be cathartic, frustrating. It can alleviate the pressure in our minds, ease our suffering. It can also drive us to distraction until we have released all we have to give! Writing is a demanding child, a thankless teenager, yet a comforting friend once matured.
Even single words have power. I discovered this all too clearly at Greenbelt festival this weekend when faced with a table full of glass pebbles printed with words (see Gillam Glass). They were beautiful, tactile and unique. I bought a handful of them, and each day have picked one to contemplate as a prayerful practice. Yesterday, on a day when the toughest chapter of this year finally concluded, I picked ‘Loved’.
I wasn’t feeling very loved. My support network had been amazing, and they had kept me afloat. Not just this year, but for many years. Yet I was left facing the start of autumn with Long Covid (14 months and counting …) reduced ability to work (because of the former), an unsatisfactory ending to a 4 year long encounter with the criminal justice system (as a survivor) and no certainty whatsoever about what the future may hold.
Only, as I contemplated the pebble, I realised that I do, really. It just looks nothing like the old measures I used to use, in terms of job role, savings in the bank, on-site Church – all of which can be gone in a matter of weeks anyway. My certainty is in my identity as a child of God. Named, claimed and cherished. I have a ministry in The Ordinary Office. I have a network through other like minded people and organisations, striving for the same inclusive church attitudes and establishments as we are. I have a voice, I have a platform. And perhaps now I have left so much behind in the last year, the time is ripe to start writing afresh?
Let’s not leave it so long next time? There is so much to write about, and who knows where those words will lead?
Peace be with you.