Monday, July 18, 2005

Reading until full

I have been reading more over the last few months than at any time I can remember when I wasn't fulfilling somebody else's requirements. As my husband falls asleep after thumbing through a news magazine, I continue to read late into the night. It is so comforting to feel him near my body as my imagination and intellect roam far and wide. If it weren't for the grounding of my earthy husband I wonder if I wouldn't just become lost in my head.

I have just finished the most exquisite memoir by Kate Young Caley, The House Where the Hardest Things Happen. When a writer is really good, you read what she has written and it's so true that you wonder if she is actually writing about your life. Not that her experiences are mine, except for her deep love of God and her dyed in the wool Yankee New Englander soul. I had the wonderful experience of attending a writing workshop that she held before I had ever written a word she ever wrote. And then to read her transparent memoir about the hurts of a church kicking her family out of fellowship and the ripple of pain that affected her whole life, I felt as if she were my good friend, and I was allowed to read her diary.

Interestingly, I felt the same way when I first read some of the autobiographical sketches written by Gordon Atkinson of Real Live Preacher. That was also my introduction to blogging. When he spoke about his parents and their deep love of God which compelled them to smuggle blankets over the border to cold, impoverished Mexicans, I cried feeling that he had looked into my soul and told one of my stories. Of course, he was only telling his own, but because his writing has such clarity, my heart recognized it as truth. St. Augustine once said that all truth is God's truth, and I believe it. Truth cuts right to your heart as if God himself is retelling you a familliar family tale over a campfire.

I've also just finished Brian McLaren's, The Last Word and the Word After That. When I was reading it last night in bed I commented to my husband, "This is crazy good." I didn't have any articulate, post-adolescent, intellectual grown-up words for the penetrating way McLaren's writing seems to anticipate my next thought. It is as if he is writing out my next deep spiritual question, the one I can't quite formulate and once spoken will rock me to my foundations. Finishing McLaren's book this morning, I wondered if my brain might just explode, just as when I was finishing Caley's memoir tonight I thought my heart itself might explode. I lay there in the sweltering heat of my room with the ceiling fan whizzing overhead, my eyes wide open and teary, and my true love sleeping fitfully next to me.

And when it became clear that my heart and mind were too full to sleep, I retreated downstairs to blog.

May the Lord bless you and me with restful sleep (Psalm 127:2)

Micah Girl


Blogger WES ELLIS said...

"If it weren't for the grounding of my earthy husband I wonder if I wouldn't just become lost in my head."
Maybe that's what's happened to me. I need grounding cause I'm lost in my head most of the time (just kidding). Great post.

1:35 AM  
Blogger spiritual ingenue said...

Don't you love words?

My head is full, my mind is full, and my heart is full as well. It's hard to sleep when everything's spinning.

Thinking of you friend-


4:57 PM  

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