Writing is Home

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I read Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity and Writing by L.L. Barkat while spending a week in a church that’s been converted into a home.

Writing is like that. Its presence towered over most of my life with the stillness of a holy temple. Grandiose. Imposing. Until I finally flushed a toilet, heard truth echo through a cavernous sanctuary — with the noise of everyday water.

Writing, it turns out, is a place to inhabit.

Modern culture has discombobulated our sense of place. The hub of the kitchen table no longer holds together the farm and work shed like it once did. Now our most important occupations are prone to the sprawl of square miles, states, even countries. We do our best to knit together these habitations of work, family and faith, using long threads of concrete interstates and digital texts.

To feel connected.

Writing is home. It has drinking water and dirty floors, onions and laundry.

And it’s full of voices, compromises and relationships.

So I won’t be visiting church on Sundays anymore. It’s time to move in.

Because I want to flush toilets and sweep up crumbs from yesterday’s table crackers and hummus.

I even want to play with a broom.

24 thoughts on “Writing is Home

  1. Oooo. And yes… The ordinary world is soaked with extraordinary grandeur and beauty. The deepest truths of life and survival are found in these places where we play with brooms and wash down tables, always gathering up crumbs of stories.

  2. Yup. It’s the everyday stuff. It’s the shoes I kicked off in the mulch under the tree when I was climbing into the hammock the other day. It’s the church-houses and the house churches and the overdue library books. Let’s write, right in the middle of life.

  3. I totally get this, the inclination sometimes to put writing on a pedestal.

    I like how you juxtapose the temple with the home – nice metaphor. And yeah, my writing is better when it contains dirty floors and onions (that’s my favorite line of this piece).

  4. Hi Matthew. Once again, I can see why I miss coming here…your words always hit a chord. Writing does inhabit us…it is home. Writing helps me to appreciate the “crumbs and onions” even more as they inspire me to tell a story. I’ve missed you and your blog and once again, so glad I stopped by today! Thank “you” for being an inspiration to me!

  5. I know in my heart that I need to create a space for creativity, but in many ways I’m expanding my space. I find great inspiration in coffee shops, busy sidewalks, empty fields and even my car in traffic. I love the — variety of inspiration!

  6. “We do our best to knit together these habitations of work, family and faith, using long threads of concrete interstates and digital texts.”

    Wow. This is so true.

    Long threads of concrete interstates. This is why you’re one of my favorite writers. You make words come to life. And, yes, writing is a place to inhabit, as it also inhabits our souls. Thanks for the book recommendation.

  7. And now I am homesick. I’ve missed the “voices, compromises and relationships” that only visit me in words written. The crumbs too. This post spoke to my heart. Thank you Matthew.

  8. We take reality as it is and make it better, letting our view of life get clearer and improving relationships. Then expand the better to those around us. Isn’t that sort of what Jesus told the disciples to do? And they didn’t have toilets!

  9. I love the way you think: “Writing is home. It has drinking water and dirty floors, onions and laundry. And it’s full of voices, compromises and relationships.” So well said! Or rather written.

    • How nice to hear from you again, JoDee — though maybe I’m at fault as my postings have slowed down some lately. Thank you for your kind words. Writing is such a rich and beautiful home — laundry and dirty floors included.

      • Once again, so well said. I couldn’t emotionally survive let alone thrive without writing. Writing helps me to take care of the dirty laundry of my mind and soul.

        I always enjoy your posts.

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