One of the exciting aspects of writing is the process of discovery also known as revision. An idea or image comes to mind, and we sit down to describe it because we want to remember it or share with others. Yet, it often happens that as we write, what seemed so clear and evident at first seems to fade. Or we suddenly find numerous threads of ideas with no pattern. When that happens, just keep writing until you come to whatever feels like the end. At this point you are ready to embrace the process of revision – the nearly magical process of discovery. Like a sculptor standing before a block of marble, you chip away at the mass of words on the paper or screen.
I wondered how to do it differently this year, How could I move through the holidays with gratitude rather than resentment, with a sense of peace even in the midst of activity? After all, Jesus was born into the very messiness of human life, not into a place where all was neatly prepared and ready. I longed to carry the Christ child in my heart this Advent season, but there was simply no room in the Inn. And so, that first evening, as we all sat in prayer, I asked God for the gift of peace. I prayed that, in the space between gently released thoughts, the veil might be lifted from my eyes and Christ enter in. . . .