Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Europe (excluding the United Kingdom) (02/19/09)
TITLE: Not A Tennessee Waltz
By Victoria Wood
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I’ve always had a tumultuous relationship with writing. I like to write - but writing likes me much, much more. Over the years, writing has pulled me in and I go to the pulpit with my fingers on the keyboard and allow the excavation to begin - it can be exhausting and messy.
Most of what I like to write is amusing in nature as humor comes easy for me. Sometimes, many times, I have this apprehensive desire to write about what I probably should have always been writing about long, long ago: God. Four (4) years ago I had a spiritual awaking - one of which is far too beautiful a thing to write about off the cuff as I’m doing now -- and so that friends is another story all together and one that I continue to excavate daily.
I will say though that the awaking is what has lead me to this site - as I wanted a push from somewhere to write - to dabble in what I know is within me -- and have the courage to bring that to the paper. The opposite of writers block plaques me and my head pounds with an uninvited longing to write. I saw the topic Europe for this challenge and I immediately stepped back from the pulpit - believing that it was impossible for me to parlay the topic Europe into anything interesting enough, connective enough - to perhaps mean something to somebody. I read other entries and was drawn into where the writers took me. The smells, the tastes, the visual imagery, the storytelling - I was humbled by the talent and the uniqueness of the submissions.
I almost closed up shop until I realized that I could write something about Europe - I just needed to know a little more about Europe. I googled “Europe” and read the wikipedia entry. My head began to pound as nothing I read sparked any release of backlog writing within me - yet everything wanted to just spill out - that is - until I realized that Europe was an ideal tap on the shoulder for me - because it was what I didn’t know about Europe that allow me to take this first step- and so I write and I realize how a country so very connected to the United States - seems so very, very foreign and unknown to me. My head pounds even harder - trying to bridge the gap between the beginning of this story and what should be the end - and then I feel clarity creeping around the corner - lean in closer and stay with me if I haven’t already lost you. I believe wholeheartedly that Europe is one of many, many things I know little about - and most likely God’s way of encouraging me write about things that I’m not so sure about at this point in my life. If the topic had been something deep - perhaps I would have left this dance believing I was nothing more than a wallflower - too scared to take that first step. Instead, I was allowed to dance with a topic tame enough to keep me calm. God made this easy for me - no Tennessee waltz tonight, just a two step and a headache –and so I’ll go to bed feeling blessed having danced this dance with Europe.
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