Ok. So I have less than an hour to put something down that’s worth me writing and that’s worth anyone, including me, reading. After years of avoiding writing almost anything not related to a work project or some random social media posts, that seems like an impossible goal, but here I am hitting the keyboard anyway.
I do have a long list of stuff that I’ve been thinking about, for the last ten years or so. Right now, I can’t think of more than three actually not even one. In the last ten years, both my parents died, my home was flooded during Superstorm Sandy, I left a long-time position at Rutgers for a medium-term position that I left three weeks ago when they eliminated my position along with dozens of others in advance of a likely fiscal crisis. I birthed my second son (well ok, that’s almost 11 years ago, but I’m counting it since he’s still winding down his first decade), am still married to my favorite who’s about to enjoy season six of his tv show, and am working with him to launch our own company.
So, a little of this and a little of that.
This might be all I’m capable of at the moment. Because nothing is happening. Well, not quite true. My big dog, Cassie, is dreaming. Laying here beside me, she’s doing a little barking in her sleep. When she wakes up, she’ll come over to me and lay her head on my leg. I’ll scratch her head and she’ll sigh. The little dog, Piper, is laying on the hassock, also sleeping. Quiet. Both her ears are straight up which is funny because when she’s awake, one is up and one flops. And further in the background, one of the voices that accompanies me throughout the day, softly urging me on.
“Write no matter what. What makes it to the page isn’t as important as the effort you’re exerting to begin. Even this jerky, inchoate, thing is better than nothing.”
Is it? I guess I’m going to find out. What if nothing happens after this? What if another ten years passes between this and the next this or that? I’m trusting that voice but there is another, there are others, but this other is much less optimistic and encouraging. It’s grumbling and I’m ignoring it for now.
I’ve got about ten more minutes before I have to leave and pick up my guys from school. Less than three weeks ago, my days weren’t like this. My days were measured differently when I reported to an office five days a week. I’m as busy as ever, but there’s a different energy that moves through me and with me.
I know that the next seven minutes are all about writing and so, likely, are the next ten, twenty years — writing and remembering that long list of things of things I’ve been thinking about that I’ve forgotten. This is exciting and I feel an unexplainable confidence even though I am clearing the path in front of me only one step at a time and I’m in unfamiliar territory. How do I know all will be well? Maybe it won’t. Maybe I’ll walk right into quicksand. Quicksand is real, right?
Oh wow. Three more minutes. And I’ve gotta take a minute to stretch out my back before it starts to spasm. So that’s really just two minutes. The red or the blue wire. Which one?
I think I’ll ask for help. Or maybe I’ll use a strategy I used a while ago to pick books I included in my thesis on Boundaries. Then, I simply went to the library and chose a random ten books and used them to weave a story that connected them all as if they were meant to be chapters in the same story, not separate volumes. I proved there really are no boundaries, except those we draw around ourselves to “keep ourselves safe”. And I argued that ‘safe’ is overrated as a strategy for either survival or growth.
Out of time.