Today is fresh with possibilities. I want to learn more about the craft of writing so I can paint beautiful words upon the canvas of life. Yet more than this, I want to be become real because I know what God can do with real. He can take our humanity and mix in His Spirit and create healing oil. Have you ever read the writing of someone who is real? Their words resonate with life. They soothe the soul and spark new hope.
Yet I wonder, “What will it take to become real in my writing rather than remain a wooden puppet of my aspirations?” How odd to feel like Pinocchio waiting for my Geppetto to paint an identity upon my writing face. I hear the magical fairy whisper,
“One day, she will become real. Yet there is so much to do before this dream will come true.”
I loved the story of Pinocchio when I was a child. Even after I knew how it ended, I quaked in fear as he lied and his nose continued to grow.
I related with this impulsive puppet whose curiosity repeatedly got him into trouble. An elementary school teacher once scolded me when I unzipped a classmate’s dress who stood in front of me in line. I vividly remember the irresistible urge to see how that long zipper worked, even though I knew trouble would follow. My imagination never seemed able to contain itself within a little girl’s mind.
In the story of Pinocchio, a fairy promises to grant Geppetto’s wish for his puppet to become a real boy, contingent upon certain conditions. Pinocchio “…must prove himself to be brave, truthful and unselfish and able to tell right from wrong by listening to his conscience.
I try to be brave, but fears wait in the shadows of my mind like crouching panthers, “You can’t do this! The business of writing is not fit for you! Forget this silly nonsense or reality will shred you to pieces!”
If I am truthful, what the experts say it takes in order to land book deals both intrigues and repulses me. The vibrant colors of creativity came alive during times of serenity when I exited the limelight…to ponder…to write…to sort.
Like an alabaster jar, seclusion filled with soothing prose. I do not want to give that up. I want to be unselfish, but my heart cries out, “I work at a demanding career so how can I develop a platform while maintaining my precious writing time?”
Staying real and being popular is difficult. Often the second tempts compromising the first. Puppets have strings and I don’t like strings. Approval from others makes them move and dance and dangle. That does not feel real to me.
I hold precious writings in safe places within my soul. Must I now shatter this alabaster jar of privacy in order to pour forth words as healing oil? Yet I long for God to breathe life into human souls like the fairy did to the puppet in Geppetto’s arms. I want to write words that make humans dance apart from strings.
At times, I still dare to wish upon a star, even though I fall short of having what it takes to become real. I wish for my personal fairy to make all my dreams come true without me having to do the hard work involved: the researching, the sorting, the deciding.
Pinocchio had to learn to discern the truth about those conniving foxes who enticed him into the puppet show. My naiveté and need for approval often keep me on the stage subjected to others’ tugs and pulls.
Denying his tendency towards impulsivity was not easy for Pinocchio, nor is it easy for me. I often find myself saying yes to obligations that I end up dreading. Bouncing this way and that in search of what I want exhausts me.
Lastly, Pinocchio had to discover his conscience so he would seek the welfare of others more than his own.
There seems to be an enormous amount of devotion to self-promotion required in this business of writing. What terrifies me the most is my inability to discern what of this is profitable for my readers and what will lead to my demise. Do I have what it takes to follow my conscience when doing so will require passing by possible opportunities?
These insecurities tempt me to tighten my grip on the alabaster jar and stay dangling on strings a little longer.
The Puppet Master
Oh dangle me upon your strings
Positioning for finer things
I’ll gladly dance into your show
In search of praise I long to know
You are the puppet master
As lights turn on my soul grows dim
And vaguely I remember Him
The one who lures my heart to grow
In search of truth once sought to know
He is the Eternal Master
When curtains close and crowds grow thin
Then fondly I remember Him
The one who taught my heart to soar
In freedom’s search for something more
He is my Eternal Master
His wisdom wrestles in the night
“Who clipped your wings of freedom’s flight
Replacing grace with human strings
A lust for worlds of finer things?”
I seek His truth to master
Then morning dawns and off I go
Once more to dangle in the show
Then hang with others on our pegs
Accepting fame with all its dregs
The world my puppet master
*Author’s note: Ironically, after writing this post, I found the Pinocchio picture on Soapstone’s Studio’s blog, which is about chess. These words are in the header:
“Andy: We might do business on a board, but I want to carve the pieces myself. One side in alabaster, the opposing side in soapstone. What do you think?
Red: I think it’ll take years.”
I guess I’m not the only one who wants to create something real that will “…take years.”