She stood waiting quietly. Sarah was nine years old with crooked teeth, a shy smile, and not many friends. Today she was dressed in a red and white striped sweater and a plaid skirt. Earlier she had heard a couple of the girls snickering as she walked to her desk and one had pointed at her.
Yashmea walked up to Sarah and smiled. Taking her by the hand he led her into a huge room of bustling activity. Sarah looked around. She walked directly to a quiet desk in the corner, picked up a pen, and began writing. Yashmea smiled.
The first assignment at school when she returned was to write a poem. Sarah’s was read aloud by the teacher and praised for creativity.
The whispers began.
“She copied that from the book.”
“She didn’t write that.”
“Oh … teacher’s pet.”
And on the whispers went. When a particularly bold group came and confronted her with the book, Sarah read the poem. It was nothing like her writing of “Mrs. Vinegar”. Sarah was confused.
Years passed and Sarah gave more attempts at writing. A common occurrence would be her seeking out her friend, Yashmea and asking for his blessing on her writing. She asked earnestly if she could write for him and make a difference in the world.
Each time Sarah cried out, Yashmea would come and lay his hand on her pen and later her computer. Sometimes she went to him in tears that life was just too busy to write. Yashmea looked at Sarah with deep sadness.
And so it went …
No time to write … so many things to do.
Sometimes a contest entry would catch her eye – but she heard the whispers … what were the odds that she could win?
Once a publisher showed interest in her book proposal, but wanted changes. Elation was followed by fear as the whispers came … would she be writing the “right” thing?
Another time an article was published and a moment of joy flitted in … but then darkness followed when people disagreed with Sarah’s convictions. She must be wrong.
Sarah sent off a couple of “proposals” and received rejections … she put away her writing for a few more years.
As time went by, Sarah wrote some odd things here and there – a drama for church – a script for a puppet show – a journal entry – a blog – a short story … the voices quietly corrected her – those were not “real” writing.
Finally after a long session with Yashmea, Sarah wrote a book. She was thrilled. She had finished a book! The story was sweet and the cover was beautiful. Some people read it and liked it.
But then came the voices from the “real” writing community … they said the way she had published wasn’t for “real” writers.
Sarah finally let her writing go silent as she studied what “real” writers did. She read blogs, surfed the Internet, read books on writing, searched out “real” agents, became familiar with “traditional” publishing …
Sarah worked on structuring her time, making a writing goal, getting the “right” desk, putting said desk in the “right” place … Sarah could have given seminars on writing …
Sarah did everything but write.
One day an aging Sarah sat at her desk. Her hair was now streaked with silver and in the quiet solace of her perfectly placed writing desk, a tear dropped onto her keyboard. She heard a sound and looked up. There stood Yashmea with his hand stretched out to her.
Taking the calloused hand and searching Yashmea’s deep warm eyes … the next vision Sarah had was of a huge open space in a beautiful forest of colorful trees. In the midst of the forest was a deep, dark chasm that seemed to be overflowing with whispers. Sarah instinctively drew back.
Nearby and completely out of place was a desk – very much like the perfectly placed desk in Sarah’s writing room – with a small stack of papers. She felt a slight tug from Yashmea and followed his gaze toward the chasm.
She hadn’t noticed before but a wooden footbridge led across the chasm and on the far side she could see a brightly colored desk with quite a messy looking workspace. On that desk sat another pile of papers that reached to the very tops of the trees.
“What is that Yashmea?”
“Those, my friend, are the words you would have written for me if not for listening to whispers.”
“Are they good? I mean do you like them?”
“They were an offering purely for me from your special gift – of course I love them.”
“Can I still get over there? I mean, is it too late now?”
Yashmea looked with kindness into the wrinkled, hopeful face and smiled.
“Never too late.”
Sarah went back to her desk that day and began to write. She wrote until the day of her death when Yashmea came to get her.
So what happened with her writing?
I don’t know … and neither do you.
Let’s cross the whispers and the darkness …
Let’s remember the things we did at first …
In this big world there exists a thing we do well and love. Dreams and well-lit forests of happiness …
Oh … and don’t forget the Friend!