Life is moments, most people would agree. Some of these moments are stellar, and some are nothing but horror. But if we are lucky, more moments are on the way. More moments to learn, to discover, to live. I had a particular moment this morning that made me think of writing a blog post (I haven’t been very blog-posty inspired lately). I haven’t been terribly writerly inspired either. As I’ve mentioned before, I went on a writing hiatus, my first in a few years, and discovered many things, made new goals, and found a few pitfalls that have been lingering around, waiting to trip me up.
For me, the truth about writing is this: when I’m writing I’m connected to my mind and my heart, I’m connected to who I want to be, I’m connected to faith. Without writing, I’m adrift, but not always unpleasantly so. But when I’m not writing for an extended period, I find myself devoid of answers, of the translation of what my core is wanting or screaming for. And mostly, I feel disconnected from my faith. Without writing, I lose myself. Is this healthy? Who knows and, in some ways, who cares? The trick about life is to determine what the self needs, what the community needs, what the world needs, and live and be that. I am better to myself, to my family and friends, and consequently, to the world when I’m writing (whether I market my work or not). For this reason, a dear friend gave me an assignment: write essays about what’s going on in your head, so you don’t keep bumping into walls every five minutes (rough translation... she was much nicer in an Obi-Wan Kenobi kind of way).
These essays (because of course I do what Obi-Wan says) have illuminated much of what I am grappling with and have given me directions to move in. These essays have been my not-to-be-shared blog posts lately, as I wander through my own mind. And something from these essays inspired a moment this morning.
Lately, and what drove me to my writing hiatus, was frustration with my writing, marketing my writing, looking over fences at all the fabulous things happening to other writers while I continue to toil, and a not-small amount of feeling sorry for myself for all the things that everyone else seems to have in life that I don’t. Poor Me squared.
And I am here to say that part of the need for a Poor Me phase was the Pollyanna mojo I’ve had going on for over three years of writing and rejections. The body needs to grieve for loss and to lick its wounds. So, if you need to get your pout on, you Get Your Pout On. But the time for pouting can only last so long, which is why my essay last night was basically a Quit Yer B*tching kind of rant.
Today came the softer side as I stared at myself in the mirror while brushing my teeth and listening to the most beautiful song in the world. The song gave me the other side of why it was time to quit whining. The song is Fields of Gold (Sting) performed by Eva Cassidy. And the reason it moved me so much this morning is that when I do behave like a nincompoop and look over fences at other people’s lives, I feel forgotten, lost, ignored, and like the game is over because others are successful with their writing (and lives) and I haven’t been... yet. Yet. That is the key to foiling the frustrations. The game is not over because I am alive. I have more moments. And lovely Eva Cassidy doesn’t. I heard her song for the first time a year ago... roughly fourteen years after she died at the age of thirty-three. Her moments ran out. Mine still exist, and my story isn’t finished, and as long as we have moments, we have possibility, and to ignore that is to miss the most important point of life. To live it.
Quote for the Day from Fields of Gold
“You’ll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
You’ll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we walk in fields of gold.”