I am sitting down to write this morning because that seems to be the way I get my lungs and heart to work.
Writing sometimes feels like riding a stationary bicycle. You approach it with resistance, maybe a little boredom. You don’t really feel like you are getting anywhere, but later you feel the ache coupled with a sense of accomplishment.
You are getting stronger.
On better days you feel more like Captain Cook traversing over unknown lands, embarking on great adventures to go where no human has gone before.
At least, that’s what it seems, until you see footprints in the snowy tundra.
Because really, there is nothing new under the sun.
But I don’t say that cynically.
The world can always be seen as new, it’s all a matter of whether we open our eyes or not.
So, as writers and artists we dare to portray ancient truths in new light. To make connections, build swinging bridges over deep and dangerous chasms.
We write to make sense of life.
When you forget this, you begin to live like life isn’t very extraordinary. You begin to get into this routine, chugging through hours and days, waiting for something exciting to come your way.
You forget that being a writer and being an adventurer go hand-in-hand.
You realize you can make your own way, so you do, slashing through thick proverbial jungle green, pointing out that bright yellow bird along the way.
“See that? Look at the way his feathers shine. Look! Look how those droplets of dew glisten in the sun on that green bud!”
And the party you are leading, (because you are never on this journey alone) “Ooh” and “Aww” because they were so focused on the mosquitos and overwhelming foliage they couldn’t see the beauty right in front of them.
And so eventually you come upon a clearing in a valley. Inevitably, somebody starts a fire. The weary travelers take off the loads they have been hauling and rest, staring into the flickering flames.
And you all feel like maybe you are just like generations of people who lived this way, who found themselves journeying and suffering and reminding each other of bright birds and water droplets right in front of them.
Then someone stands up, energized by thoughts of those that have gone before them, and speaks, those sacred, exciting, life-giving words,
”Let me tell you a story…”
Then all goes silent.
Words tumble out, dancing upward with the firelight.
And the world becomes new.