Monday, July 16, 2012
Our desires are for a reason
Writing fiction is always what I want to do because it drives me and enthuses me like almost nothing else. The only other thing that might be up there with it is living the simple, homeschooling lifestyle. Other things that stimulate other people don't affect me. Why is writing my choice? It can be difficult, it doesn't earn money (with the exception of those household names we all know), it takes months, maybe years to complete a long term project and then people forget the books once they've read them and moved on to the next novel on their piles. I'm aware of all the drawbacks to my choice but I still want to do it.
It's because I like the heart-thumping, skin-tingling excitement. I promise, I'm not exaggerating. At the risk of sounding like a wimp, exciting or deeply moving fiction is like sky-diving for me. I love the inner nudges I get when I'm reading other people's and thinking, I want to do that too! I can mention a few cases when that has happened strongly to me. Once, when I was reading the "Thorn in my Heart" series by Liz Curtis Higgs, which is basically the story of Jacob and his wives adapted to eighteenth century Scotland, tears were pouring down my cheeks and I remember putting my feelings into a simple prayer, "I really, really, really want to be able to move other people like this too. Please let me be able to do it."
The other occasion that springs to mind was the Harry Potter series. At the end of Book 4, when Harry had his stand-off with Lord Voldemort, their wands clashed and there was such a lot at stake that I was at the edge of my seat. I found myself saying something similar. I want to take up the challenge of doing something like that too.
Being able to weave a cool story that gets readers crying, panting, loving and getting their whole gamut of emotions stirred up, twisted and wrung out again is what I really want to do. I can't think of any better aim for me, and that, I think, is the crux of dreams. The most significant question when considering your life direction is possibly, "Do I really want to do it?"
I may bake a yummy cake from time to time but my daughter, Emma, is actually developing a passion for the food industry. We have to be sure she doesn't miss "Alive and Cooking" when we're home mid-morning and the competition element of "Master Chef" excites her. She enjoys concocting recipes and recently, when there was a quiz which included a question about a where a certain cut of meat comes from, she shouted, "It's the loin!"
Emma loves doing art too. She attends lessons with an artist on Wednesday afternoons and nothing delights her more than having an empty slab of canvas or plywood and taking weeks to replicate old masterpieces on them. Recently, she's been watching episodes of "The Cake Boss" which incorporates both cooking and art. I think he is awesome too but never feel inspired to rush for a spatula or paintbrush as Emma does.
"God will give you the desires of your heart." I used to interpret that to mean that He'd give me resources for overseas holidays, cool clothes and a reliable car. I'd shrug and ignore this verse when these things weren't forthcoming. Now I've learned that you can interpret this promise another way. God will give you the desires of your heart. He'll give me the passion for writing, Emma for cooking and art, Andrew for playing saxophone and Logan for computer games, (which he assures me is a very lofty, complex and legitimate passion).
In Salzburg in the Regency period, Antonio Salieri heard the young man, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart play, and was filled with a burning desire to compose music just like him. In the 20th century, Mother Teresa left her European village as a young woman to travel to the poorest of the poor in Calcutta partly because she earnestly wanted to. Another friend of mine says she'd love to work with the intellectually disabled.
What is your heart's desire? I'd love to know.