I have trouble understanding why I can't hold to my resolve about pulling back from all the activities I once participated in, issues advocated for, causes I wrote about. Just as soon as I do that, another compelling issue comes to my attention, and there I go again.
Well, I may be coming to some understanding of how this obsessive compulsion seems to be the case: the internet media. Each morning I open up my email site and there sit at least half a dozen stories about dire situations in need of my healing touch, my money, my presence, my attention. Not one of these deserves to be ignored. The guilt begins when I hit the "delete" key for any of them.
About two years ago, I think it was, I made a promise to myself: my attention would now turn to matters of writing: poetry, non-fiction, perhaps some fiction . . . and to do so would mean I would let go of most of the activities which took up my time -- usefully, but all the same, took my energy. My life's calling began to peep into my psyche like some small Easter chick, insisting upon my attention. And I was successful to some degree. Had a book published by a small independent press, unlike my previous self-publications. Became active in writing groups, mainly those having to do with poetry. Started attending more readings and studying books about writing good poetry. Then when my book about children of World War II came out, began concentrating on readings and marketing. Joined Twitter. Posted on Face Book.
One problem, however: I was receiving more and more messages, more pleas for help from needy organizations, more guilt layered on my barely liberated spirit. But once again, I am vowing to cut back: the only non-literary endeavors will be my participation with the NC Council of Churches, my responsibilities as a Benedictine Oblate, and perhaps filling a pulpit or two on occasion, in addition to the church choir. My energies will still address the compelling issues of the day, the needs of the poor and dis-enfranchised, the least of these, but now through the written word rather than my body on a street corner holding a candle or a poster. All of these groups do important work and I want to support them, from human rights to animal rights, but it will be through what I write. There's is a definite sense of liberation in doing so. Now to hold to what I have resolved.