She doesn't mean writing sermons, poems, prayers, and reflections for worship, as I have for thirteen years. These do go deep and have become an important part of my spiritual practice, but this still not the kind of writing my spiritual director is urging. She's encouraging me to write more creative things that I may never share with anyone else. She's encouraging me to write from the center of myself for myself.
In her book Life's Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest, Christina Baldwin talks about the aspect of self that is the "walker," the active self who goes through life doing, and the "watcher," the reflective self who, given time and space, will reflect on what is going on beneath one's surface. This can in turn influence the way the walker walks, changing the journey.
Reading that this morning I realized my walker has taken over my life - I have given obligations to family and work such high priority, it's no wonder that my journal has become all about that and not about me. A couple weeks ago I went on a retreat and realized that my spirit really does need time and space to do some reflective personal writing..
Since the retreat I have been thinking about how to redo my office so that it can be an inspiring creative, spacious place with room for a different kind of writing. I went from thinking to imagining, and from imagining to planning, and then from planning to doing - buying, assembling and installing a new desk and shelves, organizing my books and supplies, and then decorating with bright things old and new.
Deep down I am creative and that creativity will poke through anything I throw on top of it, like the bulbs emerging from the rocky soil near my door. It emerges not only in my work but also in my cooking, knitting, dancing, and the great pleasure I take in re-decorating my home. My spiritual director was so right. I need to make time and space for my creator to knit together my walker and my watcher with words. Thank you, Susan.