A few years ago, I applied to attend a writer’s workshop at the Collegeville Institute, that describes itself as “a place of scholarship, worship, dialogue, and community immersed in the Benedictine rhythm of work and prayer.” Collegeville is well-respected and well-known in the writing circles I am privileged to participate in. I was beginning to get more serious about my writing and braver about taking risks. It was disappointing to be advised I had been put on the waiting list for the particular workshop I wanted to be a part of. I can’t imagine anything but the direst circumstances causing someone who has been accepted not to attend so I know the chances were slim to none that I’d get to go.
This year, I am trying again and have just a bit more to finish on the required 15-20 page (double space) essay I have to submit. It is every bit as hard to try this time around though here and there in my writing I see phrases that are crisper and better drawn. Getting the last bit done is like pulling teeth and I know why–resistance and the temptation to undermine myself. Nonetheless, the discipline of dwelling deeply in my chosen subject, the willingness to step away and then come back to try not once, but repeatedly over the past several weeks, and the sense that I can actually get this done, all of this makes me very happy.
One of the gifts my dad’s move brings involves boxes and boxes and boxes of old family correspondence that dates back several generations on my mom’s side of the family. A lot of it is in Swedish. My dad and I are beginning to discuss the possibility of a project we’ll work on together that may well be the basis for the book I very much want to write. We’ll see. Were I to be so lucky as to get to attend this writer’s workshop, I’d learn some more and better prepare myself for this project that lurks inside.
In the meantime, I read something today that sorta knocked the socks off me. I have been appalled by Gloria Steinem and Madeline Albright and the awful things they said about young women recently. They’ve walked them back. I am not that far behind them in the cause of women’s equality. I understand their frustration–I know about sexism in the world, including the church. But Sarah, the author of this piece has taken them on with a wisdom and insight that makes me want to stop and listen to her. More and more, it is young men and women who’s thoughts energize and compel and convict me in ways that I am thankful for. I want to grow up to be like them. So if you are interested in women, politics, leadership and the church, and have the time and inclination, here is a piece you would do awfully well to read…
OK. Procrastination now over…back to finish that essay. Wheeee