The title of the sermon was “Making Sense out of Life,” and the church was packed. All eyes were fixated on the minister with Bibles open wide to the chosen passage of scripture. There I was doing my best to emulate the congregation, except my journal sat perfectly on top of my open Bible. Something the minister said sparked my own “passage of scripture.” Right there in the middle of the call and response, my pen raced frantically to keep pace with the thoughts coalescing in my mind. When I lifted my head again, I had written a page and half of notes full of scenes and dialogue. I closed my journal with an emphatic “Amen.”
I don’t always carry my journal with me because I often write without pen, paper, computer, or notes. My mind and my eyes became my journal at the age of nine. They write for me when I’m driving, sitting on a park bench watching my children play, enjoying dinner with a friend, listening to public radio, watching an avant- garde film, and yes, even during a Sunday morning sermon. I record life and write this way because writing has become a part of me.
Writing is a direct reflection of how I understand life. It has become the thing I know how to do well, and lately it is all I want to do. I’m in love with writing, and dare I say a bit obsessed. I should probably give writing some space and not try to monopolize all its time. The truth is I want to be with writing all the time. I want to go out on dates with it and places that I’ve only dreamed about. I yearn to spend alone time with writing when the apartment is quiet and the kids are asleep and it’s just us. I want to be with writing forever. In the words of the talented singer, Luther Ingram, if loving [writing] is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.