Right, I say. Writing. I'll get to it as soon as I've done the shopping cleaned the bathrooms called some volunteers mowed the lawn hung up the washing got some exercise spent time with my family.
Um. Maybe tomorrow.
So writing has slid backwards from being a priority, when I called Cafes with Kids my job and reviewed a cafe every week, to a sideline, now that I'm the other side of the counter and, once again, calling cafe management my job. And, as a bonus feature, actually getting paid for it. It's exciting. It's rewarding. It's also all-consuming and completely exhausting, at least in these first few weeks when I'm trying to learn everything and everyone all at once. That breathing space seems a long time ago already.
But sometimes you have to carve out space for who you want to be as well as who you need to be. And I want to be, if not a writer, then at least someone who writes. So here I am, writing. And here you are, reading, and wondering if I'm going to get around to anything apart from the fact that I'm not writing. Now, there's an interesting question. I'm wondering the same thing myself.
Now I feel like I probably should.
OK, two quick thoughts. Back when I was last a church cafe manager, ten years ago and more, I distinctly remember thinking: How does anyone do this job and then go home to look after children? But then I picked my boys up from school, and they were running down the path hand in hand ahead of me, and I thought: That's how. They crystallize a moment into a memory, and you tuck that memory into your heart, and it gets you through. Cherish the moments.
And secondly, for those of you who are interested in Bible stuff. Romans 10 was the reading at church this morning, and I had never realised that this:
5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”... Romans 10:5-8 ESVis basically a direct quote of this, from Deuteronomy:
11 “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14 But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. Deuteronomy 30:11-14 ESVOK, so there was a big clue there in the "Moses writes" bit. It's always obvious when you know it, isn't it? Moses is talking about keeping the Jewish law, which has just been spelled out in mind-numbing detail in the rest of Deuteronomy. Paul takes his words and applies them to having faith in Jesus, "the end of the law", as he puts it. Neither of those things are something you can claim to have achieved all at once. But neither of them are too difficult to start. We don't have to wait around for someone to achieve the impossible. If you want to get somewhere, just take the first step. Do what's already in your mouth and in your heart.
Or in other words: Write. And keep writing. And one day you'll realise that you're a writer.
(1) Writing tools By Pete O'Shea [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
(2) Writing sunset By gnuckx [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons