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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Writing My Requiem

image credit: pippinmovies.blogspot.com
Have you ever watched the movie Amadeus? The film about the life of Mozart? I don't know how historically accurate it is, but it, near the end, promotes the idea that Mozart died as he wrote a requiem, a mass for the dead, for an unknown person--an individual who comes to his door in a mask and pays him a large sum of money to do it. This experience haunts him so much because of the recent death of his father, with whom he had a love/hate relationship, that it induces and leads to his own death. Mozart works tiringly, night and day, to complete the project. Here is a scene:

By the title of this post, I am not foretelling my own death. I don't plan on dying any time soon, but in many ways I feel like Mozart. In a very real way, In regard to how I choose to deal with my current situation, I could be driving nails into my own coffin.
image credit: http://omogun.webs.com

I have been working on a project with a gentleman I have never met. We have spoken on the phone a few times. I have been commissioned to "rework" an emergency preparedness document.

If any of you know me, I tend to be a bit driven. When I feel passionate about something, I go for it. After the experience in Japan, this is definitely something I feel more than strongly about. I feel honored to be asked to work on such a project. In many ways, I feel that it's yet another step in a journey I'm already on and have been for quite some time. I feel drawn to it.

image credit: http://phantasytour.com
Here's the thing, though. The deadline for completion is past and has been reset. The gentleman has been forgiving (hmm...a lot like Mozart); for which I'm grateful, but do I foresee the end of this project? At this point, to be honest, no. It's completely overwhelming me. It is a lengthy document and requires a lot of rewriting. I have been chipping away. It was easiest to start with the lists but now that the lists are somewhat in order, I have to jump into the meat of it. There is no avoiding it.

Each day, from the beginning of this project, I have woken at 4:30am and gone to bed at 11:30pm, at the earliest. I don't work on it all day, I work a bit at nap times and when I can steal a moment here or there, but early in the morning and late at night, there I am. I have missed meetings because of it. In some ways, I've rearranged my life around it.

Most of this time, I'm not being paid for. That was part of our agreement. Am I happy about that? I will refrain from comment at this time, but I feel that this document has become my project for my own learning. I will finish it. I'm determined. Only, here's the problem....

Let's go back to Mozart.

image credit: geolocation.ws
I got up yesterday morning and knew I was going to have to go at this differently. I, before I started to write, got to my knees. I expressed my frustration--I feel like I'm in a very confusing tunnel and am not able to find the way out. I prayed for direction and inspiration to know what to write.

I got into my chair, logged in, and opened the document. I started to write. As I wrote, I suddenly recognized the feeling I was having. GUILT. It was a feeling of shame. It was a feeling of hypocrisy.

image credit: informl.com
Am I prepared for an emergency? No. Yes, I have 72-hour kits out waiting in wheeled garbage cans in my garage. Yes, I have some food storage to hold my family over in the event of an emergency, but I'm not even a portion of the way there. To be honest, this idea so overwhelms me that it's to the point of inaction. I'm drowning in it just like I'm drowning in this document.

So, I fought through it and continued to write. The ideas that came to my head were these....

  • Obedience must be the focus. Just do it to obey God.
  • It's not too late to start being obedient.
  • It's a lifetime commitment. You're never done, so it needs to become a daily focus.
  • Baby steps are all that's required, but consistent baby steps are key.
  • You must have a plan--but where to start? (This is my biggest problem).
  • God desires my success (1 Nephi 3:7)
  • Because of the previous point, every effort, no matter how small, will be rewarded.

This document in no way justifies my current existence, so it is very uncomfortable to write. The previous version of this book was very condemning to those, such as me, who weren't actively, or maybe I should say were half-heartedly, involved in preparing for the future. As I write, I feel despair, so as I rewrite, I rework it and interject words of hope. I add encouragement because as I write and feel pulled down, I feel impressions that bring me back up....Up to the point of knowing that I must do something. Anything....daily.

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Any step in the right direction, no matter how small, is just that....a step in the right direction.

So, before I went to bed last night, I straightened the kitchen. As I did so, I pondered on the document I'd just been working on, and the impression came to do something. HaHa! Yah, right. What was I going to do at that time of night?

image credit: nationalgeographic.com
My eyes fell on the empty bottle from the apple juice we'd drunk at dinner. There it was sitting on the counter waiting to be washed out and recycled. Then it occurred to me that there were two others sitting at the top of the recycling bin under the sink. The one on the counter had a lid. The other two did not. I remember throwing one of them away earlier and #4 had already taken the garbage out for the day. No matter. I would wash them all because that's what I felt I should do.

I washed them and filled the first with water and put the lid on. Sure, the quandary of no lids for the others really tempted me to put them back where I'd gotten them from, but I thought I'd fill them with water anyway, what the heck? I was almost done filling the second when something caught my eye. I looked down at my feet. There, on the floor, sticking out from under the fridge, was a lid. I don't know, am I just lucky? Or could it maybe go with one of the principles above? I know what I think, but some people think I'm nuts because I think that way--thus the "madhouse" theme of this blog. One person's madness is another person's miracle.

image credit: rosemaryl.blogspot.com
So, am I writing my requiem? If I continue to write and do nothing about what I'm writing, then yes, I believe I am, but if I am wise and take all that I'm writing and do just what it says....Then, I am blessing my own life and that of my family. Not only that, but I believe in the points I've shared above. I believe in prophecy--ancient and modern. I believe these are the "last days," and I believe that hard times are upon us and harder times are ahead. Do I hide under a rock and hope it goes away? That's where I've been, but the time has come to change. It's time to "awake and arise." I'm pretty sure, because of past experience, that if I can move ahead even in just my little baby steps, there will be miracles as God meets me on the path and moves me ahead to the next step. I've seen in before; there's no doubt He wants to see me succeed.

image credit: begreeninfo.com
I will make sure that my fate and Mozart's are very, very different, but I'm the one that chooses that. The ability to change my fate may lie in something as simple as an empty apple juice bottle.

1 comment:

vaxhacker said...

wow. This is giving me much to think about. I've been feeling like I'm burning way too many of my candles at both ends and in the middle at the same time, and have to wonder if all of these things are really as important as my health and well-being. sigh.

And now I've taken on something huge on top of it all. Insanity :0

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