14 Apr the long view
I’ve spent a lot of time this past year thinking about beginnings and endings. Beginnings: childhood, marriage, jobs, birth, moving to, friendships, creative projects large and small. Endings: singlehood, childlessness, moving away, death, friendships, creative projects large and small.
I see a new landscape in front of me.
Imagine a photograph in which the foreground is clear, but the background is obscured. There’s enough space to move around, dance a little and enjoy what’s in front of me, but the long view is limited.
Lately there’s been a shift, a slight twist of the lens and I can see further than ever before. There’s not the veil there that once was. I have more freedom to move, to explore. Dance waaaay over there.
Look at your mental to-do list. Not your grocery list or that scrawl of upcoming appointments, but the floating, nebulous list you keep locked away in your mind. Things I’ll Do Before I Die…Starting Right After I Change This Diaper.
Close your eyes and scan it for a moment. Pick one thing. One important thing. And write it down on a piece of paper. What can you do for five minutes today that will help you achieve that thing?
For me, that thing is a writing project that’s very dear to my heart. I’ve been secretly scribbling, late-night typing for almost 4 years. It’s been my journal, my therapy, my gift to my children when they’re grown. Over time, it’s swollen to 120 pages, and I’m not done. I’ve been so afraid to call it a book, because that would mean it has a beginning and an ending. It would mean I have to finish it.
I decided this year I will finish it. I don’t know what happens after that.
In the landscape before me, in this photograph I hold of 2011, I finish writing a book.