July 26, 2015

'Tis the Season by Marnie Pohlmann

I long to be a writer enjoying the hazy days of summer like I did as a child; sitting with a scribbler in the shade of the cherry tree listening to the buzz of bees on clover, or exploring the rocky creek with bare feet to see where danger could lurk.

I want to be a writer tapping on a laptop while sipping iced tea on the deck.

I wish to take these sunny days to plot not just the perfect crime, but get to know the hero who proves the crime is not so perfect.

I dream of waxing eloquent with flowery verse that has ever-deepening layers of meaning.

I yearn to write an expository article sure to change how the church and the world, or maybe just myself, responds to current events.

However, this summer I am not sitting in the heat to write,
     or gathering story ideas while adventuring on the back of our motorcycle,
          or composing poetry while digging painted toes into warm beach sand,
               or treasuring memories of blowing bubbles with my grandson.

While I pray to feel the sunshine warming the world outside the air-conditioned staleness of my workplace, fluorescent lighting reflects the jaundice of my pale arms reaching for the keyboard. Brick walls painted yellow to give the impression of space are once again closing in. The past winter was long, driving to and from work in the dark to spend more years of my life in this basement cell. Spring gave a false promise of freedom, but I now, once again, feel chained to the desk, imprisoned in thick cinder block walls with no cell service and limited Internet. Summer finds me languishing, staring at a sky-blue computer screen that mocks, as though it truly was a window to the outside world.

Yet I believe God when He says,

For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT)

I do not find one season any busier than another season. I quite easily fill my time with both constructive and wasteful deeds no matter the weather. I find the change of seasons, though, to be most taxing. Winter routines have relaxed, but summer needs at work, church, and home crowd in to fill days and evenings. Until the past season is finished, the preparation for the coming season is complete, and the rhythm of the current season is found, I often feel overwhelmed.

This year during the change of seasons, I add a transition in writing. I’ve been writing for years, yet have only just begun to enter a Season of Writing. I have not yet established foundational disciplines for writing in the midst of these transitioning seasons. I am grateful for this month’s contributions from other writers, which share great ideas I may incorporate into my days.

I find my writing is based not so much on a season of weather,
     as on a season of whether:
  • whether I write when I am depressed and when I am joyful.  
  • whether I write fancies of imagination, forming and fading like the clouds as my pen-strokes breeze a story onto paper and write facts that may not be exciting but simply state truth. 
  • whether I write when the writing is playful and when the words are difficult.  
  • whether I write in times of boredom and when I have over-extended my energy.  
Whether I make the time to write and take the time to write. 

This summer, I am learning how God provides for me the time to write. It is said John Grisham was a lawyer who wrote his best-selling novels in the few moments between legal cases. The Apostle Paul wrote while imprisoned. Surely, I too can learn to write in the times and places God gives me in this season – whether a quiet basement office, in the midst of extroverts at home and church, or on warm summer insomniac nights.

Praise God for His faithfulness in giving us a time for every activity!

How is the “whether” in your Season of Writing?

photos © Marnie Pohlmann


  1. Once again, you have written a piece that is so cleverly crafted I could pick it apart, line by line, raving about the use of literary devices and the way the structure mirrors the content. Bravo! Even more, the message itself is profound.
    One day you should gather all of these wonderful blog posts and put them into an anthology. Not even kidding.

  2. Hi Marnie! I'm very thankful to read some of your skillful writing! My "whether" happens pretty well any time during my life when I steal some time from whatever I may be involved in or whatever the circumstances my life.
    I thoroughly enjoyed your post and look forward to more! It touched my emotions and among other things reminded me of how thankful I am to be a writer among so many mentors!

  3. Thank you for bringing all my "whethers" into focus. As always, I appreciate your insight and the beautiful way it is expressed. Many blessings, Marnie. May this season produce ripe fruit and a bountiful harvest in your life.

  4. I loved your 'whether' post. That is exactly where I am at with my writing also although I have much more free time than you do (for now) I still find it comes down to 'whether' I am going to write or not. I relate so much to your comments about the seasons of life also....they come and go and change and sometimes it is so hard to adjust let alone write. But thank you for the encouragement to write no matter what our circumstances.

  5. Once again, exquisite. Thank you Marnie.

  6. You have been paying attention to the many lessons presented in the InScribe blogs this month. Your blog cleverly summarizes the heartfelt stories shared, I appreciate the way you are telling us that we can weave our writing through the various seasons of our lives, once we decide to do so. Thanks.

  7. Thank you Marnie, I connect with that sense of struggle between what I long for and what the current transitional reality is, and which areas I can work at to change, whether dependent.

  8. Great piece of work! Thank you!

  9. "a season of whether." How clever. It's all about making and taking the time to write isn't it? I am learning that myself, although I'm a slow learner. Thanks for the encouragement.

  10. Thank you, ladies and gentleman, for your responses. I am glad I post later in the month, as I was struggling with envy reading all the sunny summertime posts this month and needed the time to adjust and confession and be able to see God at work in my season of writing. Thanks for the encouragement!

  11. I had a misery-loves-company enjoyment of your post, Marnie. (And I found the beginning almost like a children's book, with the repetition!)


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