AND STILL I WRITE!
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.
This edition of my quarterly electronic newsletter holds the distinction of being the first anniversary issue. Mulling over Eleanor Roosevelt’s trenchant quote, I am cognizant of the hurdles I’ve overcome, the fears I’ve faced, and the lessons I’ve learned and relearned. Yes, I’ve treaded water in this spot many times before… I’m hardheaded on occasion. Writing and producing my own publication was a suggestion and one I received with mixed feelings. I did not reflect on, or mull over, the possibility. Tossing something aside because it means coming out of one’s comfort zone, or just because didn’t make much sense, either; to do so would have been cowardly. Assuming responsibility for this new venture, financially and materially, transformed the idea into something I couldn’t readily articulate, and still can’t, but…as the saying goes, I’m hangin’ in there, persevering. I am singing my heart’s song as lustily as I can. And still I write!
I decided to give the publication, which included a personal blog, the good old college try, and why not? I didn’t come up with a plan for either concept, instead I jumped in, feet first. I struggled to identify topics outside of writing. The intent was to create categories for specific subjects. A year later this task, although no longer a priority, remains clear as mud. I can only transmit what the Universe lays on my heart. I took on the challenge of writing and producing a quarterly digest with only the haziest vision. A year later I could simply stop, engage in self-congratulations, and keep on steppin’. And no one would be any wiser, after all, I did it! I got something written and produced, touchdown – I’m boogying in the end zone.
A year later my effort remains formless, muddled, undefined. I am keenly aware of the changes I go through pondering subject matter from one issue to the next as I craft this anniversary edition. I like blogging; some post ideas come easily, others require thought. I’ve ruminated on areas of interest I want to explore only to discover I’ve got two good paragraphs and nothing more. I’ve organized potential articles, written detailed notes, done research, and then slammed into a wall, stymied by the treachery of a non-starter. There’s nothing I can do to kick start an idea going nowhere. The vagaries and vicissitudes of life have definitely weighed on me and affected my ability to connect with my muse. I started 2016 excited, my batteries were recharged, I was all fired up and ready to go: where, exactly, I didn’t know. The path ahead seemed bright, inviting, passable…
Nine months of ups and downs, mountain top highs which unexpectedly bottomed out, and an especially turbulent season of horrific police brutality rattled my agenda. I’ve wrestled with my conscience about speaking my peace through a heavily-trafficked medium geared more towards trends and soundbites. I wanted to write from a positive stance, but I also wanted to voice my outrage. My concern? Just how ugly did I want to get? How much of the pain, anger, and anguish I feel was I willing to reveal? And how could I make myself heard? After all, police brutality isn’t new. And then there’s politics…
The 2016 election season is the most cruel and uncouth I have witnessed. I grew up during the Sixties. Images of the savage assaults on civil rights activists, many of them my peers, is permanently seared into my consciousness, yet the racially-tinged bombast and bullying of Donald J. Trump takes my breath away. I have no problem expressing dislike for him. But what about the people in my sphere of influence who support him? I find this circumstance deeply troubling, nettlesome, and reprehensible. Media coverage of this walking, talking, and gesticulating monstrosity has fed his megalomania. It has aided and abetted those who agree with his discursive rants and outrageous lies – his bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, Islamophobia, and xenophobia – in giving expression to the hatred and animosity in their hearts.
This same media machine repeatedly disrespects, and damns with faint praise, the first female presidential nominee of a major party, former US Secretary of State, US Senator, and first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton. The insidiously ubiquitous trope, Secretary Clinton’s unfavorables, is deliberately, and disingenuously, promoted without explanation. It underscores an odious but subtle and sexist message: she’s a woman and she’s running for president. The coda? She’s going for a job which should only be performed by white men. I’ve wanted to enter the fray and offer my two cents’ worth but…I feel constrained and don’t wish to shoot my wad out of a sense of acute frustration. Oh, I could pretend everything is hunky dory and peachy keen, except atonal music, off key melodies, and overwhelming dissonance clouded my senses, and I found myself drowning in a cacophony of noise. This ungodly racket tortured my muse and mercilessly battered my fancy. Yet I kept on writing, producing, honing my skills, and practicing my craft. I am a writer!
I used what the Universe gave me, there was no other road to navigate. A year later, when I stop and reflect, what I see are the results of my commitment. I appreciate the evolution of self-discipline practiced against the sway of emotions and the tug of desire. I wrote and posted pieces which are dear to my heart. I shared: thoughts, experiences, and insights emanating from the depths of my being. My relationship with the Divine in me has grown deeper, stronger, and more resilient. I’ve spent a year writing and producing without a well-defined sense of purpose. I’ve laid bare the stirring in my soul without knowing the impact. And still I write!
One year later I am still uncertain…still learning, growing, being stretched, and finding life is truly a series of moments. One year later the Universe has, once again, made clear my mission as I attempted to cruise uncharted waters on my own. One year later I am more disciplined although at times unfocused. My vision remains unclear, yet this may be the point. One year later I’m still plugging away. I said I wanted to be an author. Over the past year I’ve toyed with my desideration, messed around with it, even relegating it to a back burner. The Universe has brought me back to earth, placing my feet on the ground by denying me the distractions I eagerly sought. And in the midst of the game playing, soul searching, flailing, and moments of despair, I WRITE!
This first anniversary edition isn’t about overcoming odds. It’s not an occasion for celebration. I cannot get myself together and hit the road as long as I attempt to maintain an awkward and unproductive juggling act. I am learning to do what I didn’t believe I could do. I’ve paddled furiously, trying to reach a safe haven many times before… unconscious, unknowing, feeling my way but not absorbing my gut reactions substantively, or honestly. This past year I’ve begun to contemplate the meaning of living out my heart’s yearning. And this intuitive knowing requires, of me, perspicacity, a genuine embrace of my reality, and indefatigability. One year later I’m still standing…I am alive and well. I’m free to be me… Through the provenance of the Universe I am able to deliver another newsletter. How truly humbling! And I am grateful. I can now shift gears and embrace the magnificent opportunity staring me in the face. And still I write!