Tuesday, January 4, 2011

To Get the Ball Rolling Again

      I haven't written much about my thoughts or life lately. And that's OK... but I miss it. I just haven't felt like it for a while. And then there's that frustrating tendency I have to want to start typing and have it be beautiful and deep and profound and edited perfectly at the first shot. Oh, and interesting, so that you might want to actually read it ;-). I've learned that it just ain't like that, that I gotta just start typing and let it roll. Editing can come later if the impulse arrives.
     I am such an odd combination of up-tight and free-spirited. Sigh. And that reminds me of an epiphany I had recently. Let me start by explaining my position on the subject of labels (as they refer to people and life in general): They don't work. The thing is, people just don't fit perfectly into one box with a typed label on the front. They might fit mostly, but some blob of personality will stick out the handle-hole of the box, or their head will keep the lid from shutting down tight, or their stomach will start to growl, and the whole neat and orderly aspect of labeled boxes is negated.
     On the other hand, what if nothing in life was categorized? What if you wanted a book from the library, and then walked into the library and saw piles of books lying around with no order? Philosophy books buried beneath teen magazines and rubbing spines with Richard Scarry? You'd probably start feeling overwhelmed and freaked out, and be sorely tempted to walk out without even attempting to locate the book you wanted.
     You see, labels and categories are the supporting structure, not the substance, of our lives. We cannot focus so minutely on the letters and lines that we lose sight of the things of value. The real stuff...things which are slippery. The breathing substance of living. People, emotions, situations... all are slippery things. They just are what they are - and they are not the labels we place on them. The labels merely help us locate or keep track of something deeper.
     Imagine a book which expounds on all sorts of deep and meaningful and profound issues on life. The letters are formed into words, there are paragraphs and chapters and page numbers, a spine and a cover. All those things help to deliver and make accessible the ideas in the book - but the book is not the spine or pages or ink. It's the thoughts that those things try to solidify.

***photo courtesy of LuckySharp at photobucket.com


Karen Lange said...

Good points, all. You should be a writer. :)

Becky Lange said...


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Becky -

My pastor's been teaching on labels during the mid-week services. You did a great job with this. Hmm, I think I'll send him the link. :)


Becky Lange said...

Thank you Susan! Glad you enjoyed it.