Stuck. Between the third and fourth chapter of the gazillionth revision of my novel. A segue exists somewhere, but I CANNOT find it.
I know it will come…“Somewhere over the rainbow.” But the frustration of the moment calls for a break from writing. A massive piece of comfort chocolate. A gap of time to contemplate the words for this day.
Life is filled with gaps. Those years between holding my newborn and watching him walk across the stage to grab his diploma. After another gap, the same boy/man waiting at the end of the aisle for his bride.
Quickly passing gaps. Overwhelming emotions at both ends.
The gap between the germ of an idea and holding the published book in hand. Multiple revisions and gnashing of teeth. Still currently stuck between chapters three and four.
But the most telling gap underscores the fragility of life imaged perfectly in cemeteries. A name engraved on the headstone. Two dates: birth and death.
The gap between those two dates determines the legacy of that life. What occurred to that person and because of that person during that gap, that tell-tale hyphen? How many people did s/he impact? Who will mourn the absence of the owner of that gap?
Think of the people whose gap moments affected our lives: parents, siblings, even ancestors who prayed for those to come, teachers, youth group leaders, the bully at school, the hero who spoke up for me and defied said bully.
We know them only through faded black and white photos and those headstones in the cemetery. The telling gaps.
The writers who influenced my life—oh definitely! Madeleine L’ Engle, Carolyn Custis James, Julia Cameron, Richard Rohr. And many others.
Strong gap-livers include my son, the brave one who beat cancer. We celebrate every July Fourth as the day he came out of surgery. We pretend the fireworks are for him.
Those who live with chronic pain yet complain far less than I about their daily struggles. These warriors encourage my own gap-living and remind me to endure. To persevere. To grit my teeth and keep trying.
Although we celebrate births and mourn deaths, we do not always pay as much attention to the gap in between. Yet that space is where hope exists. Where it is nurtured and grows. Where it expands to affect another’s gap.
Perhaps we need to do more celebrating of each other while we live. To invite another gap-traveler for coffee. Toast each other and determine to pray for each other. Maybe we need to underscore reasons for more parties. For cake and ice cream just because we love the taste of life.
Should we not celebrate with everyday workers who persevere and heroically make it through another twenty-four hours?
And there it is—the segue I needed, hidden within the paragraphs of my journaling. A nugget of hope within my own gap. This moment will not be engraved on my tombstone, “On this day in the 2022nd year of our Lord, RJ Thesman figured out a way to move from chapter three to chapter four.”
But in the totality of my gap life, the Divine Three cheer. They understand the joy I feel in moving forward with words.
And when they review this life with me, we will each realize how important it was to find that segue. To uncover the step that gave color and texture to the story of my life.
Their “Well done” will be my trophy.
©2022 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
The Year of my Redemption has a few resolved gaps. Check it out for a quick summer read.