This is Paradise: A momento from a Literary Seminar the author attended in Key West, Florida. <em>Photo by Terry Price</em>

This is Paradise: A momento from a Literary Seminar the author attended in Key West, Florida. Photo by Terry Price

 

If you ask, I will tell you that I am a writer. Intellectually, I know that I am. I am comfortable saying it now, embracing it. I am a writer. That is part of my essence.

What about from a practical standpoint?

I am learning much from my faith that resonates throughout the rest of my life. Imagine that.

In my faith, I have discovered the necessity to “die” to oneself on a daily basis, maybe even an hourly basis. Some days a minute by minute basis. I must turn away from that which constrains me, that which binds me to this temporal existence in order to transcend, to elevate, to fly.

A glimpse of Tuscany taken by the author on his recent visit to Italy. Photo by Terry Price

A glimpse of Tuscany taken by the author on his recent visit to Italy. Photo by Terry Price

I am discovering that this applies to my creativity as well. I can call myself a Christian but what am I doing this morning other than claiming a name? I can call myself a writer but what am I doing right now that earns that distinction?

I wake up with my mind full of ideas and thoughts wanting to be expressed, needing to be committed to a more permanent form. But I also wake up knowing my responsibilities, the “what must be dones,” that escort me from my bed, through my day, back to my bed, and, on occasion, wake me here and there throughout my nights, to remind me of my failures and to point out the futility of my attempts.

If left to their own devices, they will lull me with promises that I can do better if I just give them more time. If I just make more checklists. If I just…

There is an exquisite balance that must be reached for things must be done. People must be cared for. Houses and lawns must be kept up and maintained. Dogs must be fed and groomed. Babies must be held.

But the responsibilities are never ending and are ever unyielding. When the fact is grasped that one could literally work on responsibilities from sun up to midnight, seven days a week, and never finish, that “things” shall always be left undone or worse, continue to “undo” themselves even as you work, one begins to understand the need for this balance.

And so, at least for this day, I have decided to die to myself, to the pride that says I can do it all, that if it were not for me, my little part of the world could not function. I am deciding for this minute on this day to stretch to find the balance that gives me room to breathe, to transcend, to create. I shall take counsel from the responsibilities and make my decisions rather than being governed by them.

In Murano, Italy. Photo by Terry Price

In Murano, Italy. Photo by Terry Price

This is my commitment for this day. This is how I shall be a more spiritual person for the next few hours. This is how I will claim my life as a writer on this Wednesday.

And tomorrow I shall be required to do it again. And the next day. And if on succession of my remaining days I am successful, I shall have had a most wonderful life.

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