Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Work I Want to Do

I am like Gertrude Stein today, walking and thinking my thoughts about writing. Flipping through the stack of ideas and possibilities I hold in my head. Over the last few years, I have had good ideas for several different writing projects and novels. But when it comes down to executing my concepts, I just haven’t found the enthusiasm to follow through. I find myself waiting until I find something that I think will somehow help the world by becoming a part of it. Otherwise, I am just contributing to a cacophony of noises. With the exception of this blog, where I write whatever I like with the understanding that no one else besides me is ever obligated to read it, I find that I have a deep desire to contribute something of true value to others.

I’ve been thinking lately about desire, carnal and otherwise. All the passions that motivate humans to be and feel and act as we do. Desires drive us, but they can also obscure us from ourselves if we become caught in blindly pursuing them without staying aware. Desire, motivation, ambition – those forces get me up in the morning; they get me going through the day’s activities and work. But they can also keep my attention only looking forward, on the future happiness to come. And then I forget to look right and left, up and down, at the happinesses all around me.

I’ve been going back through my stable of stories, looking over past work with an eye to submitting it. But even though I love those stories and they spring from various pivotal times in my life, I find little among them that I feel is of real use to anyone else. They are a snapshot of my thoughts, but they do not fill my need to send something into the world that can stand for me, something of which I can say “this is what I offer you.” That is the writing idea that I am still seeking. That is what I wish to work towards. I don’t think it will necessarily reward me with money, although I am certainly not against that. And I don’t think it will make me famous. Or give me 400,000 followers. Or put me on Yahoo Shine. But I do think it will matter. When I write it, it will feel worthy, and like it is beyond only my own selfish interests and experiences.

My thoughts turned to my various friendships, past and present. I reflected on the kinds of people that I have chosen to be my friends. Obviously, many of my friends are those with overlapping Venn diagrams, people whose lives share something with mine. Other mothers, other townspeople, other women of my age and income. But my dearest friends, those who have meant the most to me for the longest time in my life, are those who are also looking for something of themselves. Those who are looking and seem likely to find what they seek. Friends who have a certain youthful air, a hopefulness, an optimism, even perhaps a bit of immaturity as if life hasn’t quite taught them yet all that they need to learn. When I talk to them, I feel much younger than my actual years. I feel as if almost anything in life is still possible ,and that if we support and encourage each other, we will find out what possibility means. And it will be good.

And it will help others.

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