I am always wary about writing with a verse from the bible as the basis. Not because I’m not proud of my religious beliefs, but because I do not want to be shackled by its freedom. I also do so because the bible is open to several interpretations and one can be roped into a path far away from what he/she intended with religious debate.
But that went out of the window and I find myself running towards this hideous danger. Because sometimes, safe is just not safe enough.
Few days ago, at about 3: 00 am, while editing a Medium post for onward publication, I stumbled on an article that led me to Twitter and then to my bible, and back to tweeting about seemingly unrelated stuff.
The trigger for this episode of Writer’s Diversion, Season Infinity was King Solomon’s epistle. Ecclesiastics 11 vs 1 says “cast your bread upon the waters, and after many days you will find it again.” Which I interpreted as “spread your writing, it will yield more result.”
The dynamic resonance generated in that verse was in line with a post I read on Medium which I even quoted on the post I was working on. The author asked, “Do you write (publish) for money or attention?” And before answering I found myself wandering around Diversion Avenue, very close to ‘I hoard more than I write.’ So instead of letting these words free, I become like Scrooge: wrap all of them in my arms until I no longer have space for more but yet yearning for more.
Kendrick Lamar’s song Mortal Man re-echoed Orisirisi’s PATIENCE in these lines;
“The caterpillar is a prisoner to the streets that conceived it.
Its only job is to eat or consume everything around it, in order to protect itself from this mad city.
While consuming its environment the caterpillar begins to notice ways to survive.
One thing it noticed is how much the world shuns him, but praises the butterfly
The butterfly represents the talent, the thoughtfulness, and the beauty within the caterpillar.
But having a harsh outlook on life the caterpillar sees the butterfly as weak and figures out a way to pimp it to his own benefits.
Already surrounded by this mad city the caterpillar goes to work on the cocoon which institutionalizes him.
He can no longer see past his own thoughts.
When trapped inside these walls certain ideas take roots, such as going home, and bringing back new concepts to this mad city.
Wings begin to emerge, breaking the cycle of feeling stagnant
Finally free, the butterfly sheds light on situations that the caterpillar never considered, ending the internal struggle.
Although the butterfly and caterpillar are completely different, they are one and the same.”
Kendrick’s lines at first glance might seem parallel to how I started this post, but it’s much closer than you can currently see. And it’s even more ironic that a piece of literature, written several centuries ago by a King who later lost his bearing jolted me out of my comfort zone and reminded me that some of the words hidden in my closet, should be out dancing in the rain.
If you read beyond verse 1 of Ecclesiastics 11, you will notice Solomon’s insistence on showing up, doing the work and trusting the process.
Cupcakes don’t bake themselves, people do. Right?
This isn’t a license for indiscriminately sowing seeds — Jesus’ Parable of the sower is a reminder to only seek fertile ground — but a license to let things go despite the fear of rejection. It’s a way bill to show up despite the possibility of undeserved and toxic criticism. Like the caterpillar that kept showing up everyday until its metamorphosis is complete.
Preachy writing is something I wouldn’t touch with a pool boy’s stick but this might be one of such rare occasions that I do. This is as much a sermon for me as it is a tonic for you. A reminder to show up and do the work. To cast your bread upon the waters, because there are infinite number of directions the wind can drift it to. And even if you do not do it for another person, I believe this is a situation where selfishness is applauded. You should be selfish enough to do it for you. To show up for you. Because when the frustration of the race ending without you hearing the starting gun comes, it will hurt you more than others.
Don’t limit this to writing as it is a package too large to be boxed into just writing. There are waters around you waiting to be stirred. A little here, and a little there, and the result might stun you. However, you should know yourself more than anyone else. You should know where this resonant with you. Where it is calling you to just give it a trial. And even if you might not try to read the other verses of Ecclesiastics 11 for clarity, do remember this: try things out, you never can tell which of them will work out.