The colour of the sky each day changes slowly from inky magenta to bland light to the softest hues of pink and orange. Then there is a moment when it seems to me as though all creation holds its collective breath while another change takes place. And then a golden glow starts on the eastern horizon, grows stronger and though one expects it there is still a surprise and a feeling of awe as the sun appears in golden glory.
I like to think that each morning God spreads out a canvas which is the backdrop for the masterpiece He wishes to make of each day. His invitation is to us to join with Him in painting this canvas. The finale is the completion of the dawn that happens at sunset when again our Father delights us with a majestic show that lights up the skies in a concert of colours and shapes that is breathtaking.
As the stars are switched on we are able to sit back and contemplate the success, mediocrity or failure of each day.
What strokes should we have added, and what might the picture have been if we had used a different brush, different colours or indeed if we decided not to take part? Will there be a gap, did someone else paint our portion for us, do our strokes bring harmony or do they jar?
As I struggle with this new, yet old, identity of being a writer I cannot help but wonder what the words are that I need to write to complete my portion of this amazing canvas.
There are many questions that I wrangle with. How fictional is fiction? What measure of truth must there be in the tale to make it credible. There are many questions to do with truth. What is truth, and how much of it should I be willing to write? Does it begin with me? If I am truthful how will it be viewed? Will it bring benefit or harm, praise or criticism? Will it make my readers trust me more or less? What is the yardstick for measuring impact? Do I actually have anything to say that will add value to those who read my words? Will it fulfil the mandate of my Creator?
The tide this morning is what I think of as a quiet high tide. This part of the coast has a rocky reef specifically designed, I am sure, to protect the bathers. Most times high tide sees breakers crashing over the reef seemingly vying with each other to see which one can shoot spray highest into the air. There is a vibrancy that the exuberance of the competition ignites in me and I open my arms wide to greet the day.
But that is not the case today. There is a quiet soothing swish as the swells flow over the reef. Further out it is a different story – many tiny white horses abound that can only really be seen through binoculars and it is hard to tell the splash of the whales from the tops of fretful wavelets.
So there is conflict, not huge vicarious conflict, but subtle almost invisible conflict. The flecks of white, to my imagination, are thousands of words and it is up to me which ones I choose and how I order them to bring the peace of the nearby tide to the larger ocean. It is an awesome responsibility and one that I am wary of misusing.
Och, but I am fanciful this chilly Monday morning!
Talking of words, before I leave you to ponder what strokes you will paint on today’s canvas, the peculiarities of prescriptive text amused when I received this message: “You can come cow time”. It proved prophetic as it was in response to an appointment to jetspray the underside of my car, which as it turned out, was well plastered with cow dung!