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A love affair with the keys.
I was five when my fingers started regularly gracing the white and black. I slowly learned the ABCs and the Indian Dance for the Christmas recital.
I fought. I lied about my practice times. A lot of times I wanted to quit. I cycled through teachers – each who offered instruction to help me hone my craft. And when I hit junior high I started to make music.
I was 16 when I wrote my first song – lying awake in the dark trying so desperately to fall asleep. The notes have yet to make it to staff paper, but they forever remain in the recesses of my mind. A few months later, another song came to me. This one made it to paper – to computer – to print – to publication.
For the next 5 years, the songs would come to me. Sometimes just a phrase, a motif. Sometimes beautiful harmonies that I could hear forming into a full-fledged arrangement. Sometimes accompanied by poetry. Sometimes wordless.
And I wrote. I wrote song after song after song. I wrote in notebooks. I wrote on church bulletins when I should have been listening to preaching instead of scrawling out songs. I wrote by the light of the alarm clock. By the light of the cell phone.
I wrote praise songs and love songs. Songs borne of heartbreak and songs borne of love renewed. I wrote the song that was played when my husband and I lit our unity candle and said our first prayers as husband and wife.
And then. I stopped writing.
I was in elementary school when my hands graced yet another set of keys. We had a cheap typing computer “game.” And I loved it.
By the time I took an “official” typing class in seventh grade, I had far surpassed the rest of the class and could type asdfjkl; faster than anyone.
And I started writing. I typed out all of my notes. Long before the days when children actually had laptops in school – I would bring home my handwritten notes to type them into the computer. Lovely and organized, far unlike my actual handwriting.
I typed papers and packing lists and letters to friends.
I was 16 when I started journaling – on the computer of course. I journaled through my last two years of highschool and through my sophomore year of college.
And then, in 2008, I started this blog.
And for a long time this space was full of fluffy put-together updates that read like a Christmas card. And that’s okay.
I’ve wanted to quit. I’ve vamped and revamped my writing space. I’ve trashed posts. I’ve changed its name. I’ve changed platforms. I’ve written crap. And I’ve cycled through a plethora of mentors that have helped me hone my craft. But somehow, over time, I started making music with words. I started writing.
I wrote about love and loss. I wrote about military life. I wrote about heroes and their wives. I wrote about how becoming a mother wrecked my world. I wrote about my addictions to Facebook, perfectionism, legalism, and control. I wrote my story.
There’s a folder of scribbles on staff paper and ancient Noteworthy Composer printouts that lies dormant and dusty on my shelf called “Snippets, Ideas, and Works in Progress.” For years it has mocked me. But when I sit down and place my fingers on the keys of my Kohler and Campbell piano, the music – the magic – just doesn’t come. And I feel like a failure.
And yet now my fingers fly with ease over another set of black and white keys. This time the keys glow – even in the dark. And now it is words instead of notes that run through my mind every day. It is words that play through my mind as I can’t fall asleep at night. I can see them forming into sentences, paragraphs, and posts.
There is beauty in those words. Emotion. Power.
There is that inexplicable feeling that comes when I can see something that my very hands, mind, and heart have created – breathed into life by the Spirit of God that lives within me. An inspiration.
I felt that when I wrote music. The awe of sitting back and wondering “What in the world just happened? How did all of that come out of me?”
That whisper within that takes it all as a gift from God and gives it all back to him.
Each note. Each measure. Each song.
Each word. Each paragraph. Each post.
My songs have touched people all over the world. But so have my posts.
For a long time I felt that my online activities were simply a distraction that were keeping me from my true gift. Writing music.
But now? For the first time I realize that they are both my gift.
Both are a gift from the Creator. Both come from within my soul. Both take practice and hard work. Both take tears and frustration. Both are full of emotion. Both are beautiful.
Music or words. It matters not.
I am a writer.
Linking up with Lisa Jo Baker and the Five Minute Friday gals tonight…today…um…whatever it is. This post took an hour and five minutes, and I did a lot of editing and back-tracking, so I definitely broke the rules tonight! But I did use the prompt for this week: WRITE.