It's been a little quiet here, but it doesn't mean my life has been like that. Since January, when I decided to stop writing about my every day life, I have experienced a profound change. I love letting this blog go. I love pouring out my angst into safer vessels (my journal, husband, and *gasp* even Christ). I love giving up a piece of myself that I was finding just a bit too much identity in. And identity, and vocation, have been very much on my mind as of late.
I started the War Photographer series because I had a lot of questions in relation to my identity as a writer; what I got instead was a collection of thoughtful, hopeful treatises on the inherent value of our neighbors, and an admonition to do absolutely true by them. To love people well, to write about them second. To live life together, and out of the overflow of relationship speak. In the end this is what I discovered: I don't think we are ever truly meant to be a War Photographer--it is a vocation borne out of the brokenness of our world. The true ideal is much simpler, much less grand: we are called to be neighbors, not transients reporters.
The reflections on War Photography have changed and moved me, and I am grateful to the myriad of voices that contributed. I still have a few more guest posts in the works that you will not want to miss, and then this series will be done. I created a tab at the top where you can find the entirety of the series, in the order that they were posted.
I wrote a little bit about this journey for my good friend J.R., over at her excellent blog. Here is an excerpt:
I am currently in a season where it is not valuable to write about my life; relationships are still in infancy, my own emotions are all over the map. In the future, there may be a possibility of doing it well. But for now I am in a place where I am learning to dig deep wells, both within myself and my community. I am in a place of seeking solitude, of sitting with my questions, of discovering who I am and what I believe. This is not a time to produce, to be subject to the whims of the crowd. This is a time to dig deep, to enter into the wilderness with no knowledge of when, or how, I will ever come out. Like Buechner says: “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” By stepping back and allowing some silence into my writing life, I have found the antithesis of fear. I have allowed love to open up my thoughts, words and actions. I have given up the right to represent people, to use them, and to process through them. I am trying to give up my idols of being understood, of being recognized, of putting the entire burden of the world on my small and stooped shoulders. Instead, I am busy pursuing reality, and it is more beautiful and terrifying than I ever imagined.
But: just because I will not be writing about my specific context doesn't mean I won't be writing.
Stay tuned for some exciting new stuff.