Saturday, December 18, 2010

Plowing the Road to Happy Destiny

Whenever one thinks of this journey we call life, one may always call to mind a reference to a road. After all we travel from destination to destination following paths laid down by people who came before us. We have all used this road metaphor. Seneca said, "It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness."  Agree, although paving might be an easy solution. Someone else once said that the road to happiness was paved with good intentions and The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck has just celebrated its 25th anniversary. Even Dan Quayle tried to use the road metaphor, unsuccessfully, when he said, "My friends, no matter how rough the road may be, we can and we will, never, never surrender to what is right." Charles de Lint stated, "When all's said and done, all roads lead to the same end. So it's not so much which road you take, as how you take it." So life is a journey, you can bushwack or take the well traveled path, or the road less traveled or just skip the journey and have seat, eat an ice cream sundae and wait for folks to come to you. However I digress. An anonymous friend of mine wrote that he wanted his friends to join him as he trudged the road to happy destiny. I think I will, although first I see my road needs a good plow. Cleaning my side of the street might not be enough, I need a large state vehicle with extra long plow and studded snow tires. Because my mind is running, 24 hours a day and keeps dumping crap in the way. "I'm not good enough." Or, "life is hard, and scary." Sometimes even, "I can't do this anymore." I spent an entire day wallowing in the fact that I forgot to turn an assignment in, which made me an impossible failure. Where do I find a snow plow in these parts? Unfair question in New England I suppose, but instinct tells me I can find it in God, in prayer and meditation. I can find it by sharing my feelings with another so that I know I am not alone. Yogi Berra said, "If you arrive at a fork in the road take it." I say, "But plow it first."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Writer's Doubt

Move over writer's block, you I can handle, what is kicking my butt today is writer's doubt, that little nagging sense in my brain that says: "are you sure you can do this?" I opened a much anticipated email the other day, only to read the words: "Although you were among many talented applicants, I am unable to fit you into the class. You are being placed on  the waiting list." To me this actually says, you suck, but if one of the brilliant students that got into the class drops it there will be a place for you. I was struck by a huge case of Writer's Doubt, with all the symptoms, tears, self pity, and a drive to McDonalds for an employment application. Yes I know that it is just one part of being a writer, learning to accept rejection. I'm just not very good at it (learning to accept rejection that is) although those days when writer's doubt manifests I believe that I can't write either. I sit here, tapping away at the keys, writing a post for this blog and wonder who exactly will read these words, besides my mother (hey mom are you out there?) What is the purpose of writing if no one reads your words? Is it like the tree in the woods, falling? Does it create a sound if no one is there? Therein lies the problem. My problem. Not only am I afflicted with writer's doubt, I have also forgotten that I believe in a Higher Power that loves me, that is always there, no matter what. I need to return to my basic need for words, because I need them as much as I need air, food and sunlight. I need to write because my soul craves it, because it allows me to become a better person, it enables me to purge the fear and the doubt, to place them on the page, so that when I enter the world what is left is love and wacky hair. So I guess the cure for writer's doubt is God, plain and simple, whatever that vision of God looks like. Today if I remember that I am never alone, that my Universe is here with me right now, reading over my shoulder, the tears and the fears and the doubt disappear. Is there anybody out there?  Yes.