Monday, April 18, 2005

writing and prayer

For me writing has always felt like praying, even when I wasn't writing prayers, as I was often enough. You feel that you are with someone. - from Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

I've been reading this book for senior seminar and underlining more than is probably healthy.

This particular quote struck me, because it resonated with my experience, both as a general writer and compulsive journaler (and lets face it, blogger) and as one who writes for worship sometimes. Writing is similar to prayer for me in a lot of ways. Both are simultaneously solitary and communal. Especially when I write with a particular audience in mind, I have a sense of their presence, of anticipating a reaction. But sometimes I just write for the writing of it, and that's not lonely either. If I go too long without writing something I get restless and moody, and the same goes for prayer. Often they follow each other.

I don't know where I'm going with this, but it seemed so profound when I read it. Maybe carefully crafted writing can function as prayer, the same way knitting a hat or taking a walk can be. At least sometimes. What's that Madeline L'engle said about all good art being religious art?

1 comment:

taliendo said...

I echo your sentiment, Bethany. Writing and prayer, while not always coincidal are very deeply connected in my world.

Thanks for sharing these thoughts.