Tonight when Hope came to speak truth and work and light to our writing class, she told of an experience walking onstage and asking the audience if she was in tune, and the man with the famous brother said, "No, wait. Stop. You NEVER walk onstage not tuned and ready to go." And I was thinking of the night we played the Grand Ol' Opry, and we were so green while the other performers had been doing this for lifetimes, understood that they were providing a service. And our band walked out and had to plug things in, tune, adjust, and I remember Marty Stuart turning around to check on our progress with a look of seriousness that transformed the minute he turned to the audience. He talked them up while we "got our act together" literally. And then we played, and it went fine. But the fact of the matter is that we weren't ready when we were called.
I want to be ready when I'm called, when I call.
Being a writer is like living on the edge of that stage and sometimes you're in tune and sometimes you're fumbling and your ear is frozen with some deep resistance to hear things correctly. I equate this work with the kind that happens on steel beams above entire cities without a rope or a net, just your faith and a couple of things you picked up on the climb that others might or might not find interesting.
One thing I know and take comfort in: I'm not alone up here. So, we'll shout a song from this place and cheer each other for the courage it took to imagine, beyond the laws of gravity and depression, a home without a floor or walls to keep us in the movement God illustrated in the dance of atoms and grace within us.