Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Songwriting Retreat: Day 2 (To Be Lonely)

Where I have become cold, 
give me warmth to offer people.
Where I have lost compassion,
help me have it again.
Where I am confronted with brokenness
by those who meet me on the street,
the sidewalk,
in the checkout line,
give me wisdom, give me love.
Show me my place.
Show me my purpose.
(a prayer while on retreat)


I've only been here about 30 hours - a little over one full day - and the loneliness is intense. I even feel bored. I don't want to write anymore. Perhaps I should go watch the sun set, be outside at my favorite time of day, the dusk hours. But that, too, feels lonely.

There's a feeling a disappointment in myself today that I haven't written anything that goes deeper in terms of getting at the heart of faith, truth, whatever might seem more "spiritual" that the songs I've written since I've been here. I know I need to let the writing be what it is.


The lonely times were good, too. I held my breath and watched a turtle hovering at the surfacebout all the life teeming underneath the lake's surface. Dreamed of future plans. Thought through past hurts. Saw myself in lights I don't usually allow to shine on me, lights that expose a colder and tired heart than one, two, three years ago.

Well... did I write? Yes. And it was good. But the good wasn't just the writing; I needed some loneliness, too.

There's something important about having more silence than is comfortable, more space then you're used to, more time to learn how to use well instead of with the numbing of social media. Aside from writing, I was able to look inside myself and see places I had become lost, hardened, caught up in a flurry of busyness, prone to look past people whose lives need my love.

Lonely has a purpose.

How am I ever going to make it to Day 3?

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