chapter one.

by aslightbreeze

I am not a writer. I mean, I can put words together in a sentence. And I can string a few sentences together in some semblance to form a paragraph. And I can follow that paragraph with another one, which may or may not carry on the conversation with new points. Introduction, point one, point two, point three, conclusion. Isn’t that how it goes? God bless Mrs. Naugle for teaching me that in the sixth grade. The all-powerful five paragraph essay got me through high school and college, as I’m sure it did many other people. And hey, it works. This isn’t going to be one of those formulas, though. This is going to be a string of words, making sentences, constructing paragraphs, building the structure of something that resembles a book. I will probably have some incorrect grammatical structures, and I GUARANTEE you I will use the word “thing” way too much, a carnal sin to the English professor. I just hope that I can keep these little thoughts tight enough to sound coherent. That’s my real problem. Explaining what the heck I mean, and keeping myself organized to follow it through to conclusion. Basically, I want to jot down everything I’ve learned about life so far, but this is by NO means a handbook for absolute truth.

The beauty of it all is that I’m still trying to figure out what to say. I’m hoping that by getting in a little conversation with you I can show myself, just as much as you, how I feel about life, love, God, etc. Some of these thoughts are my own, but many of them stem from books I’ve read, movies I’ve seen, conversations with friends and strangers, records I’ve listened to, graffiti on walls, stumbled-upon websites, text messages at three in the morning, dreams, sermons, everywhere. What an incredible world we live in where so many things are so readily available to us to touch us, make us turn our heads and notice, encourage us to examine how we feel. Is this post-modernism? That we can patch together the blueprints for our lives from a myriad of sources, regardless of their origin? Someone asked me recently if there were any post-modern Christian writers, and I couldn’t really answer her. That term gets chucked around quite a bit these days, and it seems as though everyone has a different definition to offer, which in and of itself seems rather post-modern. Even wikipedia (!) doesn’t offer a single sentence definition that I could print and stick inside a fortune cookie.

The fact is, we live in a world where everything is available to us, and we have to sift through the barrage of information to find answers to our questions. I’ve come to a point in my life where I’m happy to take on that monumental task for my own well-being. I’m writing this as much for myself as I am for you. I’m a little scared, because I know the temptation of saying what would sound right to say, rather than what I really believe and practice daily. Sometimes sentences on paper just look good, but there’s no substance behind them. There’s that verse in Corinthians that says, “if I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” I could try to impress you with a few well-placed big words and some witty one-liners, but if I don’t mean any of it, that is, if I don’t engage what I write with love, then it’s pointless. I’ve heard some awesome gongs in my day, both literal and metaphorical, but the initial power of that first impact fades away into nothing relatively quickly. It doesn’t stick. I want to be like a slight breeze, maybe not loud or demanding, but constant. A breeze is always there, encircling us and causing our hair to flutter in it’s gentleness.