Returning to Write

It’s 11:30 PM on a Wednesday night. I am a second year medical student. I was in class from 8 AM to 5 PM and studied the rest of the day because I am beginning to prepare for my life-defining STEP 1 board exams. I have a final exam this Friday. I need to be up at 6 AM tomorrow.

I do not have time for this.

But isn’t that what I’ve been telling myself for the last five months? Isn’t that the reason the last blog entry I posted was in August of 2015? It’s not even 2015 now.

I have written this many times before, and I will do so again:  I need to write. Perhaps I don’t need to write to survive, or even to do well in medical school, or enjoy a wonderful holiday season with family and my soulmate. Perhaps I don’t even need to write (at least not in this capacity) to be successful in my career or “change the world.”

But I do need to write to be completely me.

As I push into the late hours of the night, ignoring the voice in my head that tells me to go to bed so that I can get up early enough to go to the gym before class tomorrow, I feel it again. Maybe it is just relief from writer’s block, or euphoria at the end of a long day of being productive (at least by medical student standards). But, being me, I prefer to label it as something much bigger.

I receive a daily email from Father Richard Rohr, a Franciscan Catholic priest whose writings never fail to inspire me. Yesterday, Fr. Rohr wrote about love and divine intimacy.  He wrote,”Fullness in a person cannot permit love because there are no openings, no handles, no give-and-take, and no deep hunger.”

We need love-from other humans and from the Divine- because we are incomplete. Or maybe we are incomplete so that we will depend on love. Either way, the message is clear: we need divine intimacy. As humans, we crave God. I believe that we all search for God and find God in different places. Call me a heretic, but I also happen to believe that many of these places are correct, even if they are not religious by common standards.

As I found myself compelled to write tonight, unable to sleep because something or someOne was tugged at my heart, I remembered the words of Father Rohr. And as I began to write, I felt myself caving in, opening up, breaking into pieces. I became vulnerable, like a flower that gets rained on or a puppy that opens its eyes for the first time. I felt my rough edges begin to be filed away. It felt like I’d found water in a desert.

When I write, I am able to reflect and remember and savor and wonder and imagine and relish in my gratitude for what is and what is to come. I am able to dream and hope and pray and beg and grieve and let go. I am able to emphasize moments in my life that are worth emphasizing and forget those worth forgetting. I am able to breathe and become the closest I’ve gotten to meditation. I feel accepted and cleansed and forgiven and embraced. I feel one again. How can this not be a form of divine intimacy?

I’m not implying that my words are sacred or even worth reading, but I do know that the process of writing them, for me, is a process that allows me to connect my intellect with my soul. And, somehow, this process always brings me back to God.

I will not make a resolution to write every day, for it should not be yet another task to check off my long to-do list. But I will allow myself to bask in the peace that writing gives me more often.



3 thoughts on “Returning to Write

  1. Maggie,
    Your writing is certainly worth reading and sacred as well, for so much of the resonated in my own heart. A wise friend told me years ago, ‘Writing is your primary act of worship.” That might be true for you as well, dear one. I also get R. Rohr’s email and read that same thing yesterday. To me, it spoke to creating space in my life this year to be filled with Divine Love. Press on with all you have to do in medical school and wedding planning and when the time comes to write again, I will be here to read and be blessed. Love to you.

  2. Beautiful, Maggie. There’s no doubt in my mind that for you writing is prayer. Sometimes for me, too. Your words are a perfect send-off for me as I prepare to leave this afternoon for my annual retreat at Manresa. I wonder if your blog readers know about our book, Why, God? Suffering through Cancer into Faith? Much love, Grandpapa

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