(Which is a great short story by Jamaica Kincaid, by the way)
This glum weather, the very opposite of spring, has made me dig my sweatpants and socks out again, and shoved my spring cheer back into hibernation. Grey weather oppresses my spirits. And these days, it feels like I'm not doing anything worth doing: a small job, a small town, planning a wedding months away, addressing invitations, and reading Roald Dahl's biography in the in-between time. Really? They feel like wasted days.
Yesterday I was moping around the house, feeling sorry for myself, and decided that I needed to get dressed up and get out of the house to cheer me up. So, off to the coffee shop with my poetry notebook in hand. I have not written in months. I sat and stared at the page for a while, wrote a few words, crossed a few words out . . . an hour later, I had actually managed to re-write the end of a poem I've been fighting with for a while. Some small accomplishment.
At this point, an elderly man sitting near me decides to engage me in conversation, asking if I'm writing, if it's for school, all about my school, if they argue about Christianity at said school, and what I want to do with my life. Somehow (probably because I was already feeling beaten down), I heard his questions and attitude as demeaning and judgemental, and I further sunk into the darkness that screams in my ear:
Why do you try? Why does it matter? Why should anyone listen to what you have to say?
I don't have an answer to that question. I don't know why anyone should listen. I don't know what I want to do with myself in ten years. I don't know why I continue to pound away at my poetry in a world that doesn't give two figs about literature of any sort. I'm afraid to care, because I care so much. My heart screams that this matters, that our world needs art to make us human again, needs the gospel to make us human again. And maybe I can play some small part in that.
What do you love, and how do you make it matter?