Wednesday, August 19, 2009
A GOLDEN DAY
Today was a Golden Day!
As I sat listening to my friend, Aaron Johnson, read aloud for the first time the book I’ve worked on for three years about his life, tears filled my eyes. The emotion I felt as Aaron spoke the words off the page, took me by surprise. And suddenly, it ceased being my book. Yes, I’ve spent hundreds of hours writing it, researching it, and agonizing over it, but as I heard Aaron’s deep, honey-coated voice read about the events that shaped his life, it became very clear to me that our collaboration was a God-thing.
How else can you explain why a middle-age, white woman from Wisconsin ended up writing the biography of a elderly, black gentleman from North Carolina? We grew up on different planets. Yet, our love for God and our respect for the humans He created melded Aaron and I. And because of God’s grace, our relationship and collaboration has produced something pretty wonderful.
Again, what I’ve written isn’t my story. It never was my story. However, for the last three years it felt like mine. I wrestled with the words like an Amazon warrior. I dissected hours of interviews, stacks of news clippings, and pages and pages of reports. In the end, as the vowels, adjectives, nouns and pronouns settled around me, only the clearest, most meaningful ones were chosen to tell this amazing story of hope and triumph.
I’ve written a story. But my friend, Aaron, lived it. It’s his story. And today as he read it out loud, the words, emotions, and memories all returned back to him, like children who had slipped under the fence for an adventure, only to return home when the porch light came on.
In just a few days, the edits will be complete and Aaron’s story will be ready share. You’re going love this man!