Because of what use is it to pour your heart and soul into your art, and to have others engaged in pouring their hearts and souls into the same endeavor, only to relegate it to some shelf where all it gathers, after its initial unveiling, is dust? I can play it safe or step off the ledge. I can go for the well-lighted, well-trod path or go for broke. Joseph Campbell suggests that to find the real treasure of ourselves we have to go into the forest through the dark gate, the one nobody else has opened.
What I’ve found along the way to this place where I am, that is both wondrous and fraught, is an unexpected and remarkable s-curve in the unfolding of my journey. Much of what I’ve experienced isn’t at all what I imagined it would be when I was chasing the rainbow of being traditionally published. In fact what I think is that I had no idea how to imagine it. What I think is that the more I know the less I know, if that makes sense. In EVIDENCE OF LIFE, my heroine, Abby, goes on a journey, too. She is similarly challenged to rethink and reprocess all she thought she knew.
necessarily show up the way we planned or when we planned. Sometimes they come long after we’ve given up. Often, in the midst of them, there’s no way to see where we’re going, whether it’s safe. And it’s for sure hardest to feel there’s any gift when the worst happens, but—in my experience, anyway—the gift is always there. My son David said to me the other day that it didn’t matter whether the change was cause for celebration or desolation, the stress is the same. He also likes to quote that great John Candy line from the classically hysterical movie, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, that we have to be: “Like a twig in the shoulders of a mighty stream.” John Candy. Who knew he was a philosopher?
Maybe the essential ingredient for change is trust. Because it’s for sure when you are caught out on the ledge and you peer over into the abyss, there’s no net. But think about this too, if you don’t step off, you’ll miss the thrill of flying and with a little luck you might catch a good wind, the lift of a strong warm thermal, and who knows where you could land, what wonderful unexplored territory could be there, yours to experience and to share … if you don’t crash and burn. If, instead, you live to tell?