Our Strangely Quiet House

We cancelled our TV service. Effective Monday 4/19/10 we no longer watch TV in our house. Okay, we’re not totally without television entertainment. We upped our Netflix subscription to three movies at a time. We still have movies on the DVR to watch. But no more Dish Network.

Why did we choose this radical, maybe even un-American path? I could tell you it’s so Daniel will have more time to practice music and so I will have more time to write. Both those reasons are true. But the biggest reason? Money. Moo-lah. Coin. It’s all about the Benjamins, Baby.

With the $65 per month we have been giving to Dish Network for the privilege of sitting mindlessly absorbed while our dreams continue to pass us by, we can pay off two credit cards in the next six months. That translates into several hundred dollars saved in credit card interest. Oh, and we might gain a little ground on those dreams. Combine that with less credit card dept and I’m dancing a better happy dance than Snoopy. Yeah, okay, I know Snoopy’s happy dance rocks. But you get where I’m going with this.

We made a decision to quit talking about ways we can reach our goals of financial freedom and working seriously on our chosen arts. We acted. Scary and weird.

But I’m hopeful the outcome will be worth the serious jones I’m having right now for Criminal Minds…

Contemplations of Purpose

In Walking on Water, Madeleine L’Engle writes:

To serve should be a privilege, and it is to our shame that we tend to think of it as a burden, something to do if you’re not fit for anything better or higher.

Later in the same chapter:

When the artist is truly the servant of the work, the work is better than the artist.

When I think about a muse or my creativity or whatever you want to call that within each of us, I wonder about why it is that humans are drive to art of one form or another. I’ve read several different theories from several different people, but I won’t review all of those here. After thinking about it for many years, I realize for me it’s in response to how I experience my life.

A friend and I talked at lunch a couple of weeks ago about the content guidelines for some Christian publishing houses. I told my friend that I didn’t strive to teach some universal truth, I just wanted to entertain with my writing.

I realize this is not the whole truth. Of course, I want to entertain, but I want something more. I want to touch something deep and human within a reader. I want to connect with another human being who will respond to my stories whether it’s with “Yeah, she gets it.” or with “She’s an idiot and has no clue.”

I want to be able to do as Ms. L’Engle says and serve the work.