I sent a tweet out today that simply said:" I believe that writers are direct descendants of Job." Not sure why. Well...actually I do. I was reading a Chronicle of Higher Learning piece on college student writing and the internet. At the same time, I was listening to the NY Times Book Review podcast. The guest was bestselling author, James Irving who said that it often takes close to a year between the time that he gets the idea (usually the last line) for a new book and when he writes the first sentence. What patience!?!!?!? It made me think of my own process and how impatient and unforgiving of myself I can be at times.
Job is a historical figure who I think about quite a bit. Every time I read his story, I get something else out of it which I can then apply to my own life. He is widely known as one of the most patient men to ever walk the face of the earth. He also endured longsuffering and affliction in defense of what he believed in. He lost everything yet stood firm on the promise that his latter days would be greater (well...he had a "moment" but he was still human!). The story of Job always causes me to reflect on my life as an "artist".
I am always striving to get better, do more...and the journey gets lonely. Although I know loads of artists and people in general who are going through what I am going through...it never feels like that in the low moments. In these moments, I feel like I am at the bottom of a well...screaming at the top of my lungs...every once and awhile someone will pass and stick their head down to see where the sound is coming from...but they don't see me but instead see their own reflection in the water...not realizing that there is a woman down in there...somewhere.
BUT then I think of Job...he lost his family, his wealth, his health...everything...yet still he was faithful and God blessed him tremendously in the end. I ask myself, "Can you go on knowing that this desert moment that you are experiencing may go on for quite some time?" I rest on the thought and come to the same conclusion that my spiritual forefather came to in his prayer to God: "I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted."