Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Fear of Insignificance

To pour out your life to have all your efforts swept away by the winds of time--the fear of insignificance rattles my bones, but I don't bow down to this fear. Instead, I find myself whispering, "Make this moment count, make them all count. You will never pass this way again." 

As you might know, I am a voice crying out in suburbia.  Lots of people are afraid of ticky-tack houses, the matching facades, and identical brick mailboxes out front. No one ever dreams of living suburbia. It's a place that you leave behind. A disgruntled teen went on a killing spree within a mile of my house. The houses on my street have identical half-moon windows and circular vents above the garages. All the mailboxes are the same except for one. The streets are narrow and the houses are moderately priced. In a universe of galaxies, this feels like the backwater or the backwater. 

My life is a quiet one, and I feel the whole universe stretched around me and I live in one of the most plebian places possible. I make my bed, wash my dishes, and want to make a difference somehow. Can my butterfly wings cause something to change down the road?  I hope so.  I dream that my nickel and dime sideshow shakes up the consequence of the big ring. All I can do is try. Like a wheeling vulture on a rising current of wind, I whirl the poetry of being into my ways. I hope you do too. 

My hungriest thought is that my life will stir others up to do something amazing. Dance in the hallway with your sweetheart, sing in your car on the way to the cleaners, crank up the engine of imagination and spin a galaxy of your own.  Pack your moments with meaning and avoid the drift of nothingness. Experience the world and record what you have found. Share what takes your breath away, and remember that treasures are found in secret places. Let the pressure around you purify you like silver in the belly of Earth. 

Seize the day. 

I think you need a doodle:

Here is a quote for your pocket.

Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people. Carl Sagan

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Moving Through Water

I love water aerobics. I've noticed when asked to jog across the pool that my movements are sloth slow no matter how hard I try.  This is a thing with moving through water. There is no speed. There is no hurry.  Water turns me into a slug.

I have also noticed that revising a manuscript is like jogging in water. I want to hurry, but there is no hurry. No matter how I try to rush forward, I'm slowed by the density of thoughts and words.  The water buoys my body, making movement gentle to my joints. It allows me to move like a kid again.  The words lift me up to become my best possible self. The written thoughts allow me to be more than me.

In a revision, the words hold my story. It's easier to revise for me than to write the first draft. First drafts are messy, fast, and not wholly coherent. Revision is slow. It's about crystallizing the thoughts. It's about making the most sense on the page, but it's also like being underwater. Fast movement is impossible. 

As you slog forward with the need revisions in your life, remember that slow is good. 

A quote for your pocket:

Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can't go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does." 
Margaret Attwood