Not even a question of choice. Choice happened a long time ago. Choices, one after another. Because a fine, constant rain falls outside my window, one such moment of choosing comes up for inspection. A small mental snapshot. White tiles framed by varnished pine. Kitchen countertop, pretty to look at, but poor design. The tiles had rounded edges. Crud got trapped in the grout. But the overall look was nice. A notebook on the counter top. A hand – mine – pouring out words the way scalp wounds bleed a lot but don’t threaten anyone’s survival. Words on paper.
Twenty-five? Thirty years later? I look up at the narrow book case facing my desk: three solid rows of notebooks. They come cheaper than meds, booze or recreational drugs.
Reading. Writing. Habits of being. Other people watch TV reality shows. I don’t know how they do it, the ones who get “it” so right. So right literary agents jump like trout to a fly; publishers, ditto. Critics, readers – all of them right on the money, because the writer nailed “it”. Nailed.
And – once again- the great undertow of NotGoodEnough pulls you under. Usually on the morning after the writing session where you felt you just might have nailed a tiny bit of something and not twisted the nails out of shape or caused part of the plaster to fall off along with the wall hanging. The great wash of self-pity. Because it’s a rainy Saturday morning in late August and you’re stuck again in the place you chose without even knowing this is part of what you were choosing, way back then when you sat at a tiny desk tucked under the stairs in a basement – fifty? Fifty-five years ago?And everything was fine, as long as the words flowed.
Allez. This too shall pass, etc.