Pressing Question

A creative writing exercise from last year

This is something I wrote during a writing group one night. We were given a prompt and a certain amount of time. I can only guess that the prompt had something to do with “pressing questions.”

Pressing Question.

Pressing question. Pressing question.

Seems like it always boils down to “God, what next?” Over 20 years now and the question is the same.

Is it bad to never be satisfied?

Oh shit.

This is why I avoid writing

Because the answers come and they are answers I don’t want.

I was satisfied for a good while. I had even become joyful in describing myself as settled and satisfied, felt like I had ARRIVED. That was blown up in short order.

So, I’m back to asking “God, what next?”

It is the same question I had over 20 years ago when I went to a state park on a lake with my mentor and Dear Friends for New Years.

We arrived, stayed in the beautiful lodge where the rooms jut out over the lake. It has since closed because “We can’t have nice things.”

It was cold and we were the only ones staying in the lodge. We had the whole dining room to ourselves. And we wrote. Like this, we used prompts to write together.

We arrived one day to the lake moving in the wind, January 1st. Overnight the temperature dropped and dropped and dropped. Then it snowed. It snowed and snowed. When we awoke on January 2nd, the lake had frozen over and there was a beautiful blanket of fresh, white snow on top of it measuring at least 6 inches. Then the eagles came. It was magical. The park employees told us they had never seen anything like it. They like the cold. They swooped and flew. They perched in trees and watched us. They were magnificent, yes majestic.

I tell this story often. It is was one of the most magical, one of the most spiritual, moments of my life. And I never remember that the eagle is one of our national symbols. It is always an afterthought. The eagle became for me — that day — the very embodiment of the Holy Spirit. Many tears were shed. I laughed out loud watching them because it filled me with such joy. And, the eagles brought with them, or the Spirit brought with her, an answer of sorts.

Live with the question. Get used to it. The path will not always be clear. The answers will not be emailed. Live with the question, “What next?” and you will know when it is time to fly.

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T. H. McClung, she/her(s)

T. H. McClung, she/her(s)

In no particular order: Writer, pastor, Mama Bear, LGBTQ+ ally, wife, preacher, watcher of TV, seeker, mystic want-to-be