unpublished drafts

Drafts of 16 posts written by my eldest son, William, remain unpublished in the list of posts that I’m able to see as the administrator of the blog I set up for my kids.

William is an excellent writer, and the unpublished drafts include works of fiction, poetry, journaling, and philisophical observations filled with honesty of emotion.  His mind engages his environment with insightful and introspective clarity.  I’m sincerely impressed, and not just as a parent-fan, and I’ve told him so.

He has a litany of reasons for not publishing his thoughts.  “It’s all crap,” he says.  “I can assure you it isn’t,” I reply.  He laughs.

I have had difficulty conversing with William, always, but more lately.  Arbitrary, superficial, tyrrany-of-the-urgent stuff usurps a dominating role in our lives, but that’s not the full explanation.

In the flash-flood of my all-too-often, anger-fueled lecturing tirades, he has struggled  to keep his head above the water.  I heard somewhere once that in spite of theatrical evidence to the contrary, it’s impossible to cry for help when you’re drowning.  Apparently, you can’t gasp for breath and verbalize your need at the same time.

William and I are quite alike in so many ways that I’ve often belly-ached to God for his cruel mockery of my weaknesses by having them appear so obviously in my son’s predisposition.  Of course, William also has been gifted in ways for which I’ve only wished and prayed.

I love him fiercely.  I’m often caught unaware by the depth of the emotion of it.

Unpublished drafts give me a window into his thoughts, those he portends with silent, desperate gestures as he drowns in my flood of words, or the expectation of them.

I wonder about the misunderstandings of so many relationships incurred by the inability of one party to gain administrative access to the unpublished drafts of other parties.

So much is left unsaid, unpublished.  So many misunderstandings persist, and become historical fact, under the constant pressure and pace of time, and our passive-aggressive ability to assume and impose motives and rationale on the empty spaces of conversations.

Imaginations run wild, offense is taken, defense is mustered, assumptions make what they will of us.

After going to bed last night with misunderstandings busily building mountains of molehills, it took 2 calls and 45 minutes this morning for me to hear my wife clearly, and to explain myself adequately to draw out her typically gracious response to my shortcomings.  “Thanks.  That helps,” she said.  That was an understatement of abundant grace akin to Jesus saying, “Father, forgive them.  They don’t know what they’re doing.”

Lives become past-tense with unpublished drafts of real words divulging truth only to audiences who remain perpetually unaware of their existence.

God forbid, please God, that precious gifts and their days are wasted without notice on misunderstandings borne and sustained by silence.

God, please, make me a listener, especially to the silence.

And grant me, always, please, administrative access to unpublished drafts, or at least to the knowledge of their existence, so that I might, with love and grace, persuade their publication.

And thanks, God, for the depth of the well dug in William’s earth.  May it be a fountain of living water.  May your grace be sufficient for us both.

May your grace be sufficient for us all.

there’s just no sense in that

My kids have a blog.  Prompting them to do that was entirely self-indulgent, I know, although they heartily agreed.  I think they’re pretty dang cool, and I can’t imagine that anyone would not be just as fascinated as I am by everything they have to say.

So, if you enjoy being fascinated, and the random thoughts of stinking cool children, check it out:

http://prattkids.wordpress.com/

P.S.  Be sure to read the “about us” page, entitled “the story we’re sticking to”, mostly because I wrote it and think it’s fun, but also because it explains the title.

i haven’t quit

Just thought you should know:  I haven’t quit.

I mean, I have quit, temporarily, but not permanently.  And I wish the temporary quitting was over already.  Maybe this little post means it is.

At first, quitting temporarily is about needing a break and a bit of rebellion and a bit of gut-check as to whether I’m doing this (writing, not quitting) for the right reasons.

At second, quitting temporarily becomes about time and choices – get more sleep, get less crabby, spend more time with kids and wife, spend more time with other things that are piled up, or write.

At third, there are actually days I forget that I have ever written . . . but there are not many of those days.

At fourth, I crave writing – I spend several minutes staring at, and daydreaming about, the green-plaid-covered journal laying on the top of the Bible that sits by the lady in the row ahead of me in church.  I just want to hold it.  A journal with real pages and real ink is so much more romantically appealing than a monitor and a keyboard.

At last, words begin to look for places to escape from me, craving expression, regardless of value and means.  (Not to say that the actual value of the expression has ever been held in such high regard here at namesake.)

Now, I’m writing this little note to say that I haven’t quit writing, and I can’t quit writing.

Oh God, help me do this well, in the write right ways, at the write right times, for the write right reasons, with the write right words.

Oh Lord, please help me do this.

Oh Lord!

click the title to see the full post

Technical note from namesake:  If you’re seeing this in email or any reader, to see the full text of this post, please click the title of the post, above.  I changed this setting a couple of days ago and some folks have been wondering why my posts suddenly got thousands of words shorter (they were secretly overjoyed).

I’m experimenting with this format for distribution of the blog for two reasons:  1) posts are more legible due to the controlled format in the WordPress environment; 2) it leads to the blog site where you can see other stuff like comments on previous posts, new pictures, and updated tricks and flare stuff.

If you hate it, let me know via comment and I’ll consider your input.  I’m still weighing the pros and cons.

Since there’s no real post here today, check out the comments on my post from a couple of days ago: foolish trust.  My friend Tracy in L.A. has stepped up to prompt some good conversation.  Kudos Tracy!

While you’re at it, leave a comment.  Read one.  Leave one.  (Kind of like the little penny tray at the 7-Eleven, you know.)  It will be fun.  Promise.

I love you, too!