During a year of transition my words have not found their way to glory - that being the page. Yet, constantly I am writing in the deep, gravitational places in my mind. Words that run constantly like an old typewriter working away on its own accord. These brilliant silent outbursts of lovely language filled with metaphor are usually lost by the time my tired body crosses the threshold or are eaten up in this daily life abuzz with much ado about nothings and somethings.
But the times they are a'changing.
In the process of unpacking, remembering and recreating a holy place to write, that being the place that one partners with the muse of inspiration and actually writes, I came across these translations in a box with a million other books.
The Korean and German translations of Praying for Strangers. The Spanish translation of The Messenger of Magnolia Street. Three books randomly moved and packed with others that I adore but didn't write. The other novels or translations missing or packed randomly elsewhere. But this is when it struck me this full weight of having written words that found not only their way into my backyard but into the worlds of others far away. Into other languages, into the hands of other people. The moment caught me off guard. The magnitude of both that blessing and responsibility. Blessed that this wondrous thing found its way into my life to have the honor of communicating with people across the world. The responsibility to continue to do so. Regardless of circumstance, hardship, challenges or obstacles. In spite of blessings that are rich in the rewards of children laughter and babies who might just adore me half as much as I do them. What goodness has found its way into my life that as I move through these waters that have been stormy - I am at the same time embraced by the love of family, the true friendship of those connected to me in so many walks of life. And, yes - of a faith that I was born with. A believing that came with the package of me.
As I move toward completing The Confessions of An American Mystic for Jericho Books/Hachette - I am still amazed at the reaction that Praying for Strangers has continued to evoke. That its simple message and true stories of the people I met the year of that resolution continues to inspire and move people to write to me to share their own stories. For the people who contacted me from Germany, from Korea, from other countries that actually held a copy and were moved, uplifted, or given comfort. For those like The BookTalk Lady that are still sending out messages that reference this movement.
A few years ago my Cousin Deb was sitting with a man in a hospice care center. While he was resting she went to the small library to see if there might be something she could read to him that would be a comfort. While perusing the shelves she found a copy there of PFS and opening it an inscription I had signed for the people who would travel though those doors. At some point, some place someone had stepped up in line at a book event and asked me to inscribe a book that they were donating to the center. There she was that evening years later holding it in her hands.
Words on the water as eternal as time. They move, they find a heart, they find a home.
Praying that your words find their way to the hearts of those you love today.