Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Master Painter (A '31 Days' Post)

  So yesterday I made a last minute decision to join the “31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes” project and decided to push against my naturally perfectionist and ultra-planning personality by just plunging into something I’ve only heard a little about before. So often that personality looks at an opportunity and analyzes the heck out of it only to let it slip by in the end. I didn’t want to do that. After all, one of my main goals (last minute and unplanned and all that) is to stop over-analyzing every thought and impulse and just TRY something. So, I took a mental gulp of air and jumped in.

There were some, um… learning moments along the way. For instance, as I checked out the initial post of several other “31 Days” folks I realized that they started with an introductory post rather than a post on the first prompt. Oops. Then I realized that was probably because I was actually a day *ahead* since I live on the other side of the world. Oops again. Oh well, I guess that’s really the point in the end. It’s not perfect, I’m learning something at least, and nothing catastrophic or terribly embarrassing happened because I didn’t have it all together. So here goes Day 2…

Prompt: Paint

I watched this morning as God painted “rosy fingered dawn” over the low mountains of the eastern horizon and in so doing painted meaning into my heart and order into the chaos of the city below. The harsh, mechanical noises of the construction site across from our apartment building had already begun and grated on my consciousness as I tried to enjoy be beauty before me. Why must they work so many late nights and early mornings when the rest of the world ceases from labor? 

Before moving here I had no idea how noise can carry up to the sixth floor, how a sneeze is audible from the ground below. But city noise has turned out to be my arch nemesis in the day-to-day. I can retreat from the rest of the world in many ways, find some solace from the altogether different-ness of living in a foreign culture and the constant pressure it brings to bear on my brain, by coming home to our little spot. But I cannot retreat from the noise!

And yet there above it all God is painting beauty and peace and calm and otherness that transcends the grit and grime and harsh reality of the world below. And it lifts my soul as well for a moment, not to forget the world I live in, but to draw me beyond the momentary troubles of this life to the glory that awaits. It reminds me of the meaning and beauty that infuses each moment down in the grit and grime and teaches my heart that God is painting a beautiful picture out of it all. 

I'm joining the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes project this year for some inspiration and a kick in the pants to just write something, anything each day. It is a challenge for my "recovering perfectionist" self to plop down words as they come to mind for 5 minutes (only!) and let them loose on the internet with little to no editing. But I hope the process will free and exercise my brain to express with greater ease and clarity the many vague thoughts that long for more definition and development, however imperfect they are. 

For more '31 Days' Posts click here or on the tab at the top of the page.


  1. I found you through your link up on the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes. I need you to know I love this! Like you, I am a serial perfectionist who made a last minute decision to hop on this train and see where it take me. (And have repeatedly second guessed that choice!) Your words are wonderful. Thank you for sharing them. I look forward to reading more as the days pass.

    1. Thank you! I totally get the "second guessing" dynamic! Today's prompt is killing me! Wardrobe?? Gah! I look forward to seeing what you and others do with that one. :)