I rarely if ever suffer from writer’s block — a fact that several of my critics have frankly regretted — and, despite the major and very disheartening setback of this past summer, I don’t think that I’m anywhere near the end of my writing career yet. (For one thing, Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture is doing remarkably well.) Still, even optimists sometimes have moments of doubt.
A few days ago, I ran across a wonderful little piece from Debra Rienstra expressing such fears, and wish to share it:
O Lord, I don’t know what comes next. Am I past my
prime? Am I a sack of trinkets, emptied out? A once-
shimmering pool, evaporated? A spinner spun down,
tipped sidelong, stilled? Is this a drooping, dry, dissipating
drift toward some awful blank forever?
On some days, my work seemed a sweet sachet, crafted in
satin, scented with pungent words: “purpose,” “calling.” Or
a journey toward visioned destinations, worth all the ache
But if this is only a rest, why do I feel so restless and
So much depends on the metaphor we choose for this –
wouldn’t you agree, my God? You are Lord of the freeze
and the thaw, fullness and emptiness, purpose and wander-
ing. Let’s call me a tree, and this a winter — I’m all for
cliché in a crisis. Let’s say that shivery, barren days hunker
us down to the deep. Tell me, God, to hold fast to the
banks of the river. Tell me I will bear fruit in season. Show
me the pale green at the root, the lively bulbs beneath the
crusted loam, the small creatures curled in furry warmth.
Tune me to the hushed inhale of promise, the stillness be-
fore chattering birds.
O Lord, do not forget. Let the seasons turn. Quicken me.