Dear Henri, Ummmm… – Week 16, Day 2


Dear Henri,

Some nights, even when there's a hint of inspiration wafting in the air, there really isn't much to say. Words are all random jumbles, and I fly from writing to you to all that happened today to a favourite episode of The Big Bang Theory to the municipal election last night to the giant puddle of pee one of my rabbits just left for me on the floor. Sometimes I'm fearful that I've taken this blog off-track (where's the social justice aspect gone?); sometimes I'm smashed up by the reality that nothing I say will be in any way original; sometimes I'm flabbergasted at all the books already written about things I've already been saying. Why write them again?

I've given you about as much as I've got tonight. 

I'm told it's not critical to 'go deep' everyday. Just write something. Anything.

And maybe you're right: maybe I am afraid.

Mind you, I suppose there's something ongoing to be said to a women who insists on writing to a dead priest… meh, what do folks know?

"Writing…is often the source of great pain and anxiety. It is remarkable how hard it is for students to sitdown quietly and trust their own creativity. There seems to be a deep-seated resistance to writing. I have experienced this resistance myself over and over again. Even after many years of writing, I experience real fear when I face the empty page. Why am I so afraid? Sometimes I have an imaginary reader in mind who is looking over my shoulder and rejecting very word I write down. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the countless books and articles that have already been written and I cannot imagine that I have anything to say that hasn’t already been said better by someone else. Sometimes it seems that every sentence fails to express what I really want to say and that written words simply cannot hold what goes on in my mind and heart. So there are many fears and not seldom they paralyze me and make me delay or even abandon my writing plans. […]

Most students of theology think that writing means writing down ideas, insights, or visions. They feel that they first must have something to say before they can put it on paper. For them, writing is little more than recording a pre-existent thought. But with this approach, true writing is impossible. Writing is a process in which we discover what lives in us. The writing itself reveals to us what is alive in us. The deepest satisfaction of writing is precisely that it opens up new spaces within us of which we were not aware before we started to write. To write is to embark on a journey whose final destination we do no know. Thus, writing requires a real act of trust. We have to say to ourselves, “I do not yet know what I carry in my heart, but I trust that it will emerge as I write.” Writing is like giving away the few loaves and fishes one has, trusting that they will multiply in the giving. Once we dare to “give away” on paper the few thoughts that come to us, we start discovering how much is hidden underneath these thoughts and gradually come in touch with our own riches." (Seeds of Hope: A Henri Nouwen Reader, 29-30)

Until next time,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s