Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
In Defense Of Writing
by Mary Ann Mcguire
Your Honor, I stand accused of writing to escape family, friends and community. With the Court's permission I present my case in defense of writing and declare myself, a writer—innocent of all wrong doing! It is true, as my closet filled with journals will attest: I have spent major portions of my adult life writing. My motivation to write IS an escape as the Court states. Decades ago I wrote to escape the madness of hell, shame and depression.
It began as a young mother when life spiraled out of control. Like a helpless, terrified mother lion, I was driven to protect my children, I did that with pen and paper. Often imprisoned in dark dungeons of despair, a teacher one day handed me notebook and pen, "Write" he said. "Tell me who you are."
I began with birth, scribbling for one who cared. At day's end I always discovered a tunnel through my prison's wall. On the other side my children and I saw light. Stunned we waited for our eyes to adjust to the brightness. The children began tumbling about, rough housing and laughing in the light until darkness descended with the next crisis.
Mornings were the hardest, my dreams as frightening and threatening as my life had become. Once the yellow school bus left I began working on my record of life again, stopping when the children returned. Every week I took accumulated writings to my friend. He accepted them as though they were special, as though I were special.
Your Honor, my pen never stopped. My children grew both physically and on paper. My friend kept the journals recording all daily conversations, and activities until I was strong enough to look at them again.
My journals tell of mountains climbed, of losses, successes, births and deaths of loneliness and self discovery. Decades rolled by. My friend said, "Your writings inspire me, you always find the light." At first the light was weak, later lightness and darkness merged.
Five years ago, my beloved husband of 13 years was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Again darkness threatens. He was supposed to die in less than a year. He is still alive. Today I write sermons, Your Honor, for weddings, births, deaths and students. Reading my journals I am reminded of mountains climbed in the past. My writings are a personal testimony to myself, that there is no darkness, only light.
As a young woman "I saw into the glass darkly," Your Honor. Today I look into the mirror of my journals and I see faith and hope, but best of all, I see love. I do not want Don to die but when he does, I will have him lovingly articulated, day by day in my journals. I write, Your Honor, because writing keeps the candle of my life burning.
I rest my case.
Mary Ann McGuire ( Master of Divinity) and her husband live on a hill in Napa Valley with a small vineyard, large garden and two cats. She is a Spiritual Director dreaming of bridging the gap between Eastern and Western spiritual systems.
Her extended family of married children and offspring now total 38.
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