Lookbacks From a Blogger
The thing about having this blog is that amidst all the reward of feeling like I am connecting with you (yes, you!) and “finding my voice” and all that is that I am also unable to avoid the painful discrepancies in my work tendencies.
The history of my habits is written out here for all of us to see.
I’m exposed, and I cannot run from evidence.
So…I really kind of feel like a f*ck up.
When I decided to become a writer, it was like being handed a lovely and colorful patchwork quilt. The sweet kind that you find in your grandmother’s guest bedroom.
It was rolled up tightly and bound with a with a shiny ribbon bow-tied with various hues of red.
I took this quilt and knew that it would be mine. It would cover me, keep me warm when the winds got rough. Be worn as a cape if I needed to fight.
But first I would have to untie and unroll it.
Turns out I couldn’t just grab two edges and throw it out into the sky to watch it unfurl. Turns out I couldn’t do it because the quilt has little pockets sewn upon its face and the contents would be thrown out along with it.
And these pockets are taking time to explore.
So I lay the quilt down and roll it out. One rotation and a whole column of patchwork pockets waiting there to surprise me with what’s inside.
That it wasn’t a plain and simple quilt has been surprise enough.
A quilt with secrets? This is more than I expected.
And in the beginning days, the pure adrenaline of my new warmth was enough to keep me digging around and seeing what was in store.
Each pocket held some new idea. A short story, a blog post, a podcast idea, a new novel, an interview, an offshoot for my book.
Something about the energy of that time of beginnings kept me motivated and excited without exhaustion.
There were days spent devoted to this craft of writing because I grasped the newness of what was at hand and all the opportunity therein.
We all know that ignorance is bliss.
I was blissfully, blindingly ignorant of how long everything would take.
Caught up in the whirlwind of a million new ideas and the bliss at starting off on a life path that I know is right for me, I was able to ignore for several months the fact that things just don’t always happen as quickly as one would like.
The slowness of things is magnified, of course, if your method is not one of speed. And mine is not.
Instead I incorporate bits of the distant dream of retirement into daily waking life. Days of work separated by a trip to a different city, a few days of too much time in the kitchen, a tray of oysters…twice, an exploration of a new love.
When I came to Santa Fe, I was worn down from a life all-too social lived in Los Angeles. I had words to write and a book to finish.
Over two months were passed here in relative ease and solitude, but then came a fatal housesitting trip to Texas.
I was reminded of people. Of young people and a young life and enjoyment of brains and smiles that could interact with me face to face in real time.
Thrown off track, I now realize that it’s time to move on from Santa Fe and the solitude inherent and take the next step toward a future that has for months now been quite hidden from any psychic prowess on my part.
When I get in these states of wanting to move on but knowing that, for the meanwhile, I am stuck, the child inside me starts stomping her feet.
She wants out, she’s bored, she needs new stimulation…
So I’m calling on my adult. The adult that wants to see my book finished within two months. The adult who really does love isolation (in bursts) and reading Lord of the Rings until she falls asleep.
I’m reminding myself that Nelson Mandela for twenty-five years was bound to a jail cell and the bleak promise of a heart full of dreams and passion that would never be fulfilled.
And all the while, with no reason for hope, he exercised, he tended a garden, he wrote, he worked, and he kept the faith.
Of course, I cannot hope to be a man made of such stuff as Mr. Mandela.
(I can hope to be a man, though. Thanks, science!)
At any rate, if a man bursting with the dreams of Mandela can sit in a cell and still find the drive and ambition to take care of himself and hope for a brighter future, I sure as hell can do a better job of life right now.
So…here we go.
Now tell me, how the heck have you been? I missed you last week.
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