I was in such an expansive, second trimester kind of mood yesterday.
I wrote fulsome letters to people I admire, encouraging them to keep doing what they’re doing, because it matters.
I wrote another letter to someone that someone else told me might help with dressing this site up pretty.
I wore yoga pants and didn’t shower all day.
I also made a video for a friend’s wedding, one that has been overdue since August. The problem was I couldn’t find the right song for the background. (And when you’re not paying me, you’re going to wait a long, long time for my intuition to determine when a project has reached its compensatory perfection.)
But at last, fate brought me the perfect song, one that stirred my blood no matter how many times I played it. (That, friends, is how you know.)
Which just proves again that truth that I’m trying to stop worrying and learn to love–that waiting is the only effort needed to bring beautiful, epiphanic completion.
And then I did a software update on my iPod.
I wonder if it would be any consolation to lose a suitcase full of stories in a fire, like Hemingway did, rather than all the notes I’ve been taking for the past month for the travel stories I haven’t yet written into the vague, unforgiving ether.
I was thinking the last two days about how maybe we do come to a place where we just give up, but joyfully. Same action, different mode. An opening of the arms instead of crossing them, as we say “Whatever you want.” Maybe that really happens. I was testing it out, on the biggest issues of all, and it seemed like it could work, if I kept practicing.
And then I lost all my notes from the past month.
I’ll tell you what–today, I don’t find myself worrying about work as much as a few days ago. In fact, I feel oddly confident about it.
These things seem always to show up together, but why?
I feel as if I ought to feel like “what’s the point?” in a general way. That’s the way I’m used to feeling, when shit of this nature happens. Let’s be honest–shit of any nature. I’m a howler, a throw-up-my-hands-and-fall-to-the-ground type. When dreams are deferred, I dry up like a raisin in the sun. I’m not proud of it.
But today, even in the face of this mundane tragedy, I don’t feel that way. Oddly, I feel the same lead-stomach conviction as I felt last night, only without all the hearts and wings and ribbons attached to it.
The only thing to do is write.
It doesn’t matter if it’s an effusive fan letter, or a job application, or a text message. It doesn’t matter if it’s a tight, incisive “think piece,” or a moody digression like this post, or a platitudinous travel article. (Sometimes I write those for money…and you have no idea how hard it is.)
It doesn’t matter if it lasts or how long or how people take it. It doesn’t matter what order you write things in, or what you’re writing from one day to the next.
Scratch all that. It does matter. It’s just not my problem.
It’s probably like ballroom dancing, at least from the girl’s perspective. You don’t have to know what you’re doing, or where you’re headed or what’s coming next; in fact, it’s better if you don’t. If you just keep moving your feet the way you were trained, it will be fun and it will look good.
Assuming you have a good lead.
Which this analogy presupposes I do.
(I don’t know how many more object lessons I’m going to need for this. Not too many more, I hope.)