Editorial - Writing off your life

Dianne St. Jean
Last week I had the opportunity to attend a writing session offered by CBAL. A group of about seven adults had been meeting for several weeks each Tuesday to hone their writing skills with the help of CBAL coordinator Bridget Uhl.

As usual, the participants had been assigned a specific task or writing challenge, and at the session each one read aloud what they had written on the theme of the question.
I always find it fascinating how any form of expression such as writing, painting, dancing or singing, tends to carry along with it the stamp of uniqueness from each individual. This was no different.
The written word betrays, if you will, the author. Every writer has his or her own “voice” that reveals personality which is drawn out by humour or tragedy, pleasure or pain, the fleeing or facing of fears.
None of the participants who were there that day are “professional” writers, yet each presentation was a taste of the remarkable writing talent we have in this valley… and that is the point.
Too often we get caught up in so-called professionalism as a form of personal evaluation, the letters or numbers attached to a name - how many friends, how many followers, how many degrees or distinctions. Not that those things hold no significance, they just aren’t necessarily the hallmark of insight, inspiration and innovation.
How often do we judge others on the basis of their level of education, the type of work they do, or the money they make? How often do we put our own selves down in the process of comparison with others?
I’ve met many people who, because of their level of education, did not think they were smart; or whose talents were not appreciated because of life experiences, yet these individuals were bright, intelligent, and inspirational.
The assignments that I heard read out that morning were so moving and enjoyable that one could say a “professional” wrote them, and that should teach us a very important lesson.
While each person might have within themselves strength and creativity, often these things are overlooked. Only the opportunity to express these values exposes them.
So, instead of writing off your life, “write it”.
The song “The Poem of Your Life” by Michael Card underlines this point:

Life is a song we must sing with our days, a poem with meaning more than words can say
A painting with colors no rainbow can tell, a lyric that rhymes either heaven or hell
We are living letters that doubt desecrates, we're the notes of the song of the chorus of faith
God shapes every second of our little lives, and minds every minute as the universe waits by

CHORUS:
The pain and the longing
The joy and the moments of light
Are the rhythm and rhyme
The free verse of the poem of life

So look in the mirror and pray for the grace to tear off the mask, see the art of your face
Open your ear lids to hear the sweet song of each moment that passes and pray to prolong
Your time in the ball of the dance of your days, your canvas of colors of moments ablaze
With all that is holy, with the joy and the strife
With the rhythm and rhyme of the poem of your life
With the rhythm and rhyme of the poem of your life