Prose: The Balancing Act.


Every day I am faced with the same conflict in writing; To be personable and to praise G-d. The tension resides in the fact that I write both to write and be read. One challenge of writing about the spiritual side of Christianity (I don’t associate with the religious side, whatever that means) is you have to bring near-incomprehensible ideas into words. The product of this, as I’ve seen, is often sounding pompous, self-esteemed and “holier than thou.” Most writers, if not all, have a desired and geared towards audience, picked and chosen for them based on their subject field of writing. Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Richard Dawkins, Anne Coulter. When you hear these names, you undoubtedly associate them with a genre of reading material. Problem with me is, I don’t want to be associated with the religion section of the bookstore. Even I don’t relate with most Christian writers and almost none of my favorite books are based on theology. I can’t ever imagine myself writing how-to’s for Christianity. The whole idea sounds absurd and degrading. On the other side of things, I can’t leave G-d out. I wish I could, believe me, I do. But He is ingrained in every fiber of my being. To not praise Him with the things I am most passionate about is to deny, essentially, the very essence of who I am, or who He has made me. When you love someone, you share your whole life with them, not just the parts that are convenient to share.

So, every day it seems, with my back to my bedroom window and my hands hovering in the air over the keyboard, patiently waiting for the words to come, I sit there and wonder how I might forge a connection between the spiritual concepts of G-d and more central, innate concepts. I can’t count the days I’ve been frustrated by the burden of holding both sides of myself in each hand, wishing I could find a way to grasp all of the madness in one giant gonzo fist.

Yesterday afternoon, I was at a friend’s house, watching my favorite Hunter S. Thompson documentary and pondering this idea when a spurt of inspiration came to me. I hopped up from the couch, making erratic hand motions until my fingers found a pen and paper. I wrote for two hours. I wrote until the thoughts weren’t even connected anymore. I wrote until every angle of the original idea had been exhausted. I wrote until the sentences became scribbles I couldn’t be sure were real words anymore. I wrote until my wrist hurt, and then I wrote until it felt like it might have some internal bleeding. I wrote until the only thing that made sense to me anymore was the pen in my hand.

Today, I looked at what I had. It was trash, absolute trash. I hadn’t managed to put my thoughts down effectively, the gap between my brain and my hand had been far too large and elusive. I couldn’t believe the waste it had been. I couldn’t believe the disillusionment I had felt in the process. I let myself down, and there is no greater defeat than that. I post this as a memorial to the idea that I will ever be able to make this connection for myself or for other people. I will simply have to continue on in this limbo, this erratic balancing act of praising G-d whilst simultaneously entertaining the many other facets of existence through every word that proceeds forth into the vast black hole dubbed the internet through my highly incompetent, yet wonderfully made fingertips.

The only peace I find is in prayer and in music. Thank the GRACIOUS LORD ALMIGHTY for music. I leave you with a wonderful Elton John song, originally wrote about and dedicated to Marilyn Monroe, but worldly famous for the re-make he produced for Princess Diana’s funeral… “Candle in the Wind.” For any writers out there, I hope this song inspires you as much as it has inspired the writing of both Hunter S. Thompson and I.

(By the way, that was not a comparison of quality. Just a random fact. I am not simple-minded enough to think any single paragraph I write, ever, might be placed anywhere near the calibur of mere phrases by H.S.T.)

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