Sunday, December 5, 2010

Letting Go

Reverb10... writers out there, join me!

December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

I have been writing my whole life. When I was too young to know better, I imagined myself as a playwright or a poet but never told anybody. Never mind the fact that I didn't know any poets or playwrights, novelists or even journalists, really, it was my dream to string words together into something from the first time I took the storyteller's stool in kindergarten. When I got to college, I actually felt the dream dangling close enough in front of my eyes on occasion to almost grasp it. I wrote about it in my Freshmen journal... "It's that dream again," over and over. My professors said they believed in me. My father said he knew I had a talent and wanted me to go to college to learn how to use it. I can recall exactly where I was at that moment.

Through the years I have had a pretty good grasp of the dream at times. Most people would think that having a book or two published, and hundreds of newspaper and magazine bylines would mean I had finally caught up with the dream, grasping it as firmly as Harry Potter did his snitch, and I would say so, too, at least for awhile. But in the last year, it feels as if I have let that magical snitch go.

Oh, it's hovering... in two novels not fully abandoned but almost. In essays I thought about writing but didn't.

Why? No time.

But really, I'm afraid of finishing.

Afraid my words will not be beautifully strung together like the pearls I imagine them to be. That I won't have anything to say that matters. Afraid it won't matter to anyone besides me when I'm done.
But that should be enough, though, shouldn't it? Because it matters to me.

Taking part in the Reverb10 challenge is a start, one small way to get the snitch hovering in front of me again, teasing me along every day, at least for the next two dozen days or so.

I have always heard that you have to let your children go before you get them back. And so, perhaps, it is the way of dreams. And so I hope that this year's letting go will lead to next year's catching up, that  the snitch will hover close at hand again, close enough to grasp it firmly in my hand.