The Final Four!
I can’t quite believe Holy Week is already here. Those of you who are from my parish know what the days ahead hold: Foot-washing. Candles. Incense. Bells. Lots of singing. Bacon.
I thought I might share with you something I wrote to one of this flock of writers recently. This person had been asked, somewhat judgmentally it seemed to me, why anyone would (and I’m paraphrasing here) dabble in autobiographical writing — and need prompts, no less — and do it all without anticipation of an audience? This person wondered if I had a reply to this.
Yeah. I had a few thoughts. They went like this:
First, writing isn’t always about public output. It is also a personal practice. If one is only concerned with an audience, one would never experience the joy of, say, playing an instrument or singing at home either. I don’t foist my ukulele playing on anyone, but it brings me great joy to play it.
Second, writing is a tool for thinking. It requires one to pause and shape thoughts, to take them from abstraction into clarity. In short, writing is a method of thinking and particularly in the context of Lent, thinking is praying.
Finally, the writing for this version of 40 Days is almost exclusively autobiographical because Lent is a time of turning inward and radical self-examination. In the Liturgical calendar, we set aside these 40 days to take stock of ourselves and where we are on our journey of being the people we are called to be.
So I hope you have gotten something out of this journey, this practice, this process of self-examination. It has been a wonderful challenge to me, to do all these daily readings and from them find six writing prompts each week. I rarely knew where the lectionary was going to take me. But I did know where these prompts would land — because it’s Easter, after all, and we all know how it ends.