Monday, June 20, 2011

The Noise in My Head

I had never thought to describe it that way until yesterday when I was talking to a couple of my kids. I don't even remember the context of our discussion but I said, "I always have to deal with the noise in my head". Naturally, they wondered what kind of noise I meant. (My first thought was, "You aren't the same way? I kinda' thought everyone was like this."). And no, I don't mean a humming or anything like that. It's more like static, but no, not like radio static. By "static" I mean that it can sometimes run interference with focusing on the moment. Again, I'm not referring to something I "hear", exactly.

It's more like there are always words and sentences, and observations and concerns, as well as issues that beg to be resolved. Perhaps it's the head of a writer, that "thing" that makes me obsessed with punching my fingers on a keyboard or wrapping them around a pen. Whether it's journaling or writing to a friend, blogging or writing an article, it seems I have to process my way through all that has happens and all that I observe.

As I've worked my way through some issues, I've learned that sometimes it's better to just let some things go. Like the time we were driving by a pick-up truck and I looked into the window and wondered if the man driving was kind or if he was mean. Catching myself, I told myself it was none of my darn business! Driving by houses, I sometimes wonder who lives there and what their lives are like. Do they live happily in harmony with their families? How do they decorate? If it's winter, do they have a fire burning in the fireplace? (Hm, I could check the chimney for smoke.) Even as a child, if I saw a group of people at a restaurant, I would try to figure out the relationships. Are they family or friends? I loved being at an airport, seeing people embracing in farewells or - preferably - welcomes.

"You should write fiction," members of my family have often told me. Perhaps. But then there are all the other issues that call to me to write about them. So, I pray for guidance. What does God want me to write about? What does He want me to do with the words and sentences that burn to get out?

And that is why I need to keep working to still the noises. No, not to extinguish them, just to quiet them for a little while each day, while I take a walk in nature or read from Sacred Scripture or go to church and talk with God. I need the silence that tells me what God wants from me. I need to listen to Him tell me, with David, "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)

1 comment:

Barb, sfo said...

Thanks for visiting! I can really relate to the thing about noises in your head (and being told to write fiction!) Even when it's all quiet around here, such a rare thing, it's not quiet in my mind. I need to learn how to be still. I need to make room to let that happen.