Someone pondered about me once, Do you hear the words that come to you, or do you see them, when they first enter your mind. That would be interesting to know about you, she said.
I remember feeling flattered, that somehow she -- this woman I admired and viewed as an artist, from the way she carried herself to the way that she spoke and the glasses she wore (because they make all the difference, I know) -- that she wanted to know about what happened inside my brain, that she somehow thought it to be a process. That the words that I was bringing forth had something of a creative origin.
Some of them do, I know, though I don't always admit it. While I'd never thought of it before she asked me I know now that I hear them, that they take on voice and character, spunk and sass, that if I'm to speak them, they might have a head-tilt or a lilt, or a coy little flutter about them, even while in my mind. Others, of course, have to be pulled out of me as a deadline approaches, with dull and voiceless often being the result.
For a few days now I've had some ideas rolling around in my head, nothing of great inspiration or worth. Ideas that could become essay-like blog posts, or that might develop into a conversation with a friend, if that were to happen. One of them has to do with modesty about the body -- our personal modesty and how it changes in different situations. I know that as I ponder and project statements about modesty as being "cultural" I have to force myself to distill my own statements from the wider public. I am not the culture, though I reflect and partake in it. I can't give my baggage or issues or passion to the culture without owning it as my own.
Another has to do with personal evaluation and leadership roles for me in the congregation. A new paradigm has begun and we are working hard to be intentional and healthy, but at the end of the day, after I've done it all or tried, I'm scared and tired. I know that's normal (whatever), but I'm also trying to get my own stuff together.
Doing what I do, day in and day out, has a lot to do with words. Maybe not all pastors see it that way, but my life has always had a lot to do with words, so that didn't change when I went to seminary or was ordained. Perhaps it's more true to say that I have a lot to do with words. These ideas in my head have words that go with them -- some loud and uncontained, others smooth and beautiful. I see the images, hear the words, that tonight are all a bit like marbles.