Read and Right

While I enjoy and appreciate the company of many people, I can count only a limited number of deep, soul searching conversations I've had in my life. I can be a decent listener, even empathetic in a pinch, but often the words I need to express much depth simply don't come out when I need them. However writing comes easier. In the written word I can organize and express my thoughts in ways that seem more linear than circular. The words make more sense, at least to me.

In that way, writing this blog has been the product of soul searching: admitting defeat and claiming victory, convicting and forgiving myself and others, acknowledging pain and loss and being seized by joy. I've written myself out of anger, hurt, abandonment and out of deep and dark funks.

From the beginning of this writing experience, I've sensed that I was not alone in my need for introspection and direction. It's my hope that in some small way, I've positively impacted those who read this. If I'm anything of a writer though, it's because I'm a reader. If you've read many of my posts, you already know I like to quote and acknowledge people who are smarter and wiser than me. I've read hundreds of books over the last 4 years. Some of what I've read has been life changing. Here's a list of writers who have impacted me in ways that are truly meaningful:

David Brooks

Brene Brown

Nadia Bolz-Weber

Alla Campanella/Ken Massey

Pema Chodron

Chris Folmsbee

Victor Frankl

Richard Elliot Friedman

Chris E. W. Green

Peter Gomes

Thich Naht Hanh

Robert W. Jenson

Carl Jung

Timothy Keller

Harold Kushner

Anne Lamont

C. S. Lewis

Lisa Lloyd

Thomas Merton

Mary Oliver

Richard Rohr

Don Miguel Ruiz

Andy Stanley

James E. Talmage

Dieter Uchdorf

Dallas Willard

Gary Zukov

For better or worse, I read all these writers at the point in my life when I needed and was willing to hear their words of wisdom. Unfortunately that willingness grew out of shame, loss, grief, and humiliation. It may be, but certainly doesn't have to be, such an experience for you. If I can impart any word of wisdom gained over this journey here at Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp, it would be to seek out and learn from these authors. If you don't think you need them, think again, read them anyway, then write about it. Put their insights with your impressions on paper, keep and return to these writings for perspective and direction, even inspiration.

Good reading. It will help you get right.