Creativity as Advent

Today is the first day of winter break and the first that I haven’t felt required to give my time to my education, to the commitments I’ve in the MFA program I’m enrolled in.  I’ve known that by putting everything and everyone else first, I was selling myself short and cutting myself off form the presence of God.  I’ve known that if I were to take just five minutes with the Word, that every solitary second of the day would be anointed with His glory.  But the world turns quickly.  The sun rises.  The alarm bell rings, then rings again.  The day makes its demands.

Even when we don’t call upon him, God comes to us in our time of need.  This semester, even as I was stretched thin, he came to me.  He came to me in the students I work with who showed me that in the space of doubt, inspiration can be found.  He came to me in my classmates, demonstrating how to pursue one’s calling even when the path is dark. He came to me in my teachers who saw where my spirit dwelled, encouraging me to give up the projects behind which I was hiding and devote myself in my fullness to the small story inside me which brings me healing.  He came to me in strangers, anointing me day with kindness, gesturing me to slow.

Every day I woke up late, dove to fast, nearly but did not miss my meetings, God was there, waiting.  Like advent.  Although I now call myself a non-denomination Christian, I grew up in the Catholic Church, and find opportunities to enact my spirituality in the Liturgical year.  Advent is the season before the celebration of the birth of Christ.  The word Advent refers to not to the moment of his arrival but to his coming into being.  It implies a period of waiting; in the face of doubt, in good faith; waiting when it doesn’t feel like time is on your side.  In each rushed minute, He was coming to me.

Tonight I lit an Advent candle and read a passage from Isaiah 11.  I was moving too fast.  I dropped my bible and as I reached to save it from the fall my rescuing finger tore the page I had been reading in half.  A passage about a group of people, exiled from their own land, told to keep faith that God will come to them. A people, banished; a heart, broken; a hope, abolished; the Word, tore in half, revealing glory and glory only.  The fall didn’t break the bible; it told its story.

I enrolled in this MFA program to tell my story – a story of abandonment, of broken-heartedness, a story of rebirth.  In these blog posts, I will invite you into my writing process – not the moments that I’m getting words on the page, but the moments when I’m rushing away from wisdom, waiting for understanding.  Here you will read not the story told, but the process of its being written.

- C.M.