For a long time, I was hesitant to claim the title “writer;” I thought I maybe kind of sort of was, but I wasn’t sure. I wrote. And I wanted to be. A writer.
When I saw or heard or read others whose published work amazed me, I would feel it. This gnawing inside of me, a sort of ache somewhere lower than my heart and between each side of my rib cage, the center of myself. I wanted that, to put words next to each other on a page, to think deeply and share the fruit of that thinking in a way that might matter to people, that might reveal part of this mystery of being human in a way they hadn’t thought about it before. In a way I hadn’t thought about it before. I wanted to give beauty to the world, to find new language to speak old truths, to surprise and delight, myself and anyone who might want to read what I had to say.
Sometimes, along this journey where I haven’t yet discovered all I want to write and have written some things I have, I still feel it. It helps me along, down the road.
I understand the concept of “vocation” as desire. How do you want to give your love, your time, your life, and to what and to whom? That is the seed of it. It’s about desire, yes, and then the choice, which bears the fruit. The conscious decision to take it up, to practice it, to give your self to it, whether it is a pastime or person or place, to let it become your way of life. To say yes to it at the exclusion of all other choices you could make, all other lives you could live, and to keep choosing it. Vocation encompasses all of our self, mind, body, soul. We are all born and live and die creators.
So, in this issue, we focus on the theme “interact” and invite you to make this issue yours through creation. It is for you to draw and write in, to cut up, to rip out. Let three local makers inspire you with their own pursuits of photography, welding and baking. Make a list of things you’re bad at, and then give yourself permission to do those things. Dream up a project you can enact in a community you are a part of, and then start making it happen. We hope these prompts help you reflect more deeply on the vocation(s) you choose to pursue, and that this issue is a way to interact with the world, yourself and others that brings fun and delight into your life.
Because of course, when I speak of desire and choice, I am speaking of love. That is what it’s always about, isn’t it, all of life? Vocation is about living out and expressing this deepest desire and need within ourselves, to love and be loved. Creation is bound up in all of that, is the heart of it, whether our love expresses itself through creating art or a business or children or a myriad of other types of fruit, it’s about how we choose to give and receive. It’s about how we interact with that spirit that is always before, with and after us; how we interact with ourselves; how we interact with those who people our days.
There is no pre-ordained answer; you are free to choose. How do you want to create?