Many poets are not poets for the same reasons many religious [people] are not saints: they never succeed in being themselves. They never get around to being the particular poet or the particular monk they are intended to be by God. They never become the [person] or the artist who is called for all the circumstances of their individual lives. – Thomas Merton
This week, a lot of my mental and emotional energy has been devoted to conversations about racism and white privilege over on Facebook. Part of me wants to retreat, but most of me wants to stay in the fray because we need to change things.
This week, a lot of my physical energy has been given to the farm – to getting tomato seedlings and cucumber starts into the garden and weeds out.
This week, I have let myself escape into the forests of Billy Coffey’s lovely book In the Heart of the Dark Wood, into the wisdom of Thomas Merton’s New Seeds of Contemplation, and into the lessons and musings of Wendell Berry’s Bringing It to the Table.
All of these things form part of who I am, a crucial, integral part of who I am as a person and as a writer. I like that.
But I also battle it – finding myself wondering if I need to be more a writer on Facebook or share more of my activist side on this blog. I wonder if combining the God’s Whisper Farm page with this one was the right thing to do.
I have been taught that the best version of me is the “specialized” one. Our culture teaches us to pick one thing and do only that, to present only one part of ourselves as professionals on social media, to become “experts” at one thing and give all our energy there.
I find that kind of teaching to be soul-crushing. None of us is one thing. We are mothers and fathers, teachers and plumbers, writers and gardeners. We love sushi some days and pot roast with gravy on others. We are not one dimensional, and I’m so glad of that. So deeply glad.
I read Merton’s quote above, and I took heart. Activist, farmer, writer, reader – no one aspect of who I am as a woman is more important than another. In fact, they work together to keep me healthy and strong, even when one face of my true self must speak louder for a time.
So this small blog post is my rallying cry for all of us to live fully into all the things we love, all the passions we carry, all the injustices we grieve, and all the life we can live.
If you would, share three aspects of your life or three of your passions with us below. I’d so love to celebrate all of that with you.