I've been thinking lately how writing stories is my attempt at making presents out of life. Sometimes, in the midst of wrapping up one of these gifts, I find that it is pretty beat-up or dirty, maybe even broken, and I wonder who would want to accept such a present?
I turn the gift over and over in my hands and wonder about its worth. I look under the tree to see that not all the presents are shiny and new. But the tattered ones I do see have been polished and buffed with humor. Others are taped together with spiritual metaphor. Some have been cleverly fixed with both. So I try out the creams, brushes and spools, but they do not work for me. And sometimes, my work looks even worse than when I started.
Then I get an idea, I'll just make this present prettier by covering it in some really fancy paper and putting a frilly bow on top. At least then it will look good.
Ahh . . who am I kidding? That's not gonna fool anyone. Maybe I should just throw it away and start all over. I mean, what's uplifting about this tale? Who in the world could ever be inspired by such sadness? Where IS the redemption?
But other times, I have a moment of total clarity when I realize, when I remember, that I can not completely control how my story is received. And that for me, for now, it is the writing, the telling, the sharing that redeems. The very fact that I can put it all down, unfold the map and see the whole city -- that's the best present ever, even if I'm the only one who ever opens it.