Once, on a hill in Morocco, friends and I stood in a wind so strong that we could literally lean forward and let our weight rest against the wind. It was an absolutely glorious feeling.
Yesterday, when my friend took me out sailing, he knew how to twist that sail and lean his body so that we stayed not only upright but cutting through the water smoothly. He trusted that the wind would get us there and back.
Some days when I write, I feel myself lean forward, like a toddler just learning to walk, wobbly and leading with my head but moving. I trust myself and the writing, but I’m unsteady. Still these are good days.
But on some days, I climb onto the page and just lean in. Just then, at the moment it seems like I might fall into nonsense and confusion, the wind pushes back against my chest, and I am buoyed up by something like a miracle. These are great days.
It’s very easy to play it safe, to stay totally upright and within the familiar forms, words, ideas, and structures that I know; it’s guaranteed I won’t fall flat onto my face that way. But taking the easy road doesn’t give me a thrill. It gets me by, but it doesn’t let me feel like I’m flying. I’m done with not flying.
Like faith, trusting my writing, trusting myself, trusting God requires that I take a little risk by leaning forward until I’m just off balance a little; only then will I have the chance to see the invisible hold me steady and strong. Only then will it feel effortless, like freedom.