John 15 1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunesa]”>[a] so that it will be even more fruitful.”
You know, this always struck me as unfair. Why should the branch which is fruitful already be pruned?
I thought of “pruning” as painful suffering inflicted on those already fruitful.
But really, it is sharpening one’s focus and removing the extraneous for increased fruitfulness.
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I have struggled all my life with focusing on just one thing. I suppose I’ve always had a multitude of interests, and wanted to see everything, do everything, experience everything. I knew this would cut back on achieving goals in any one area, but I guess I just wanted to have it all.
Also, I had not fallen totally in love with any one thing, any one area of work, so much so that I was willing to focus on just that to the detriment of other things.
* * *
And suddenly, I find I have.
I find myself totally fascinated by writing, and thoroughly enjoying blogging.
And so I am pruning my life. I blogged about giving up learning French with my tutor, handing over my hour of French conversation to Irene.
I belonged to a congenial group called Writers in Oxford for six and half years, well, every since we moved here. We have two social and literary evenings a month. Well, I am finally cancelling my membership. Why? Because, to be honest, I would rather stay home and read and write, though I do enjoy parties thoroughly.
I used to go to cocktail evenings, garden parties, gaudies and dinners at my old College, Somerville, and more and more. I find I couldn’t be bothered.
My daughters are highly disapproving at what they view as excessive focus on blogging and writing to the detriment of what I once enjoyed. But I really am not becoming a recluse. I get together with friends at least twice a week, sometimes three or four times. I just find conversation one on one, or with a couple, or small group so much more rewarding than going to big noisy parties, or alumni gatherings at which one may not see the same people each time.
Besides, blogging brings new friends, some of whom have become good friends. Blogging also deepens relationships with people I previously knew slightly from church or Oxford, who now know me very well because they read my blog. This becomes obvious when we get together–they already know what I’ve been up to,and the emotional, spiritual and creative contours of the previous months!!
And after seven and a half years in Oxford, I have made a number of friends. My emotional tanks are full. Making time to see the friends I have already made and to deepen our relationships is more important to me than going to parties to make many more superficial relationships. And I really don’t have much time for small talk.
* * *
Yes, after years of writing, I find I am captivated by it, and am willing to prune things to have more hours to write. To be even more fruitful.
And I guess blogging has a lot to do with really enjoying writing. I enjoy giving stray thoughts words and form and pressing publish. Other than blogging, there really is no form or venue appropriate for random stray thoughts and experiences, is there?
What are you really enjoying at the moment?