I am wrestling today with this whole idea of time.
When is it time to tell certain stories?
When is it too early?
Or too late?
How do we know when the time is now?
I've had this blog for a number of years.
It was initially an assignment,
a strong request from my boss,
who had a blog himself and
he wanted others on the church staff to have one, too.
I've loved to write ever since I can remember.
I've had teachers encourage me to do more of it.
I've even had a 'call' to do it,
an almost audible voice asking me to
'write my life down,' primarily for my then newly-born elder granddaughter.
She is six years old now.
And I still haven't done it.
I've made a stab at it here and there.
I've written some of the stories.
But about five years ago, I came up against this extremely painful reality:
parts of my story may be mine,
but they impinge on the lives
and experiences of others.
So maybe they're not my stories to write after all?
Let me explain a bit more about what I mean.
In the right hand column is a list of the archives of this blog. You'll note that I wrote about 20 times the first year - 2006. And about 10 times the next year.
And not at all in 2008.
Not one post.
From summer 2007 until sometime in 2009,
I stayed away from here,
badly burned by a most difficult experience:
I wrote a story before its time.
It was a difficult post to write because I had just spent a pretty rough week watching someone I loved suffer terribly.
I wrote, without names, about that experience.
About how watching others suffer,
wondering, "How long, O Lord, how long?" - about how
that is a particular kind of pain straight from the bowels of hell itself.
My boss was thrilled with the post.
He thought it was powerful,
true and necessary.
However, someone else who was close to the situation
was deeply wounded by what I wrote.
And you know what?
That wounding far outweighed my boss's appreciation.
FAR outweighed it, if there are some kind of
cosmic books being kept of such things.
That post was 'live' for a total of about 12 hours,
and then it was sent into cyber limbo,
never to be seen again.
But the repercussions from it reverberate
right into the present day.
So I am left wondering.
When can this part of my story be told?
And that's a hard reality to look at.
I am hoping Ms. Barkat is right.
"There is no hurry.
The things we cannot write about today,
we will surely find we can write about tomorrow."
Perhaps time will tell.
A patient reader of this blog will also notice
that from 2008-2010,
almost all posts were strictly work-related -
prayers and sermons I had written for corporate worship.
It was not until I retired at the end of 2010
that I began doing
regular, reflective writing once again.
And I do it very, very gingerly still.
The last thing I want my writing to do
is to further complicate or make painful the lives of others - so I'm learning
(very slowly) to dive beneath the surface,
to put some of my observations about life
out here in print.
I'm not sure I know the answer to the questions
but I'm trying to do what L.L. suggests:
"Trust the process and move on."