09 Feb

Life is sneaky.

It can roll along in dependable monotony, perhaps not unpleasantly so, and then it can take a sharp turn, speed down a slope or up an incline, and suddenly the view changes.

Things taken for granted — things once accepted or expected — disappear or become undependable.

What if, in the middle of the night, a pounding on the door signals armed men coming to kill me and my family — or, at the very least, coming to exile us with only the goods we can carry? What if my faith, my daily habits, the words I write, all the normal, mundane, non-threatening things I do and say and believe become punishable by torture and death? What if, in the course of going about my workday, a man brandishes a machete and cuts off my head? What if a bomb destroys workplace, colleagues, the calm of an everyday morning?

Life is sneaky.

It can end in an instant.

c2013, KB

resting at the Oklahoma City National Memorial, c2013, KB

What will I leave behind? Will it be worthwhile? Will it be something the survivors can use? Cherish? Pass along?

Will the words spoken and the stories written have weight, meaning, and resonance? Will they encourage, entertain, inspire, educate, convey wisdom?

Will it matter?

Life is sneaky.

It happens in the everyday while we’re waiting for The Big Day.

It’s only the rare writer who can make his living from the stories he submits or the novels she publishes. I’m under no illusions. But why am I waiting for the mythical Big Day? It doesn’t arrive without preparation, so why am I not preparing?

There is a time and a season to everything under heaven. It’s time to hang up my editor hat. Minor drama this past week has led me to realize that, despite my natural inclination to be a teacher and an encourager, I’m simply not interested in being an editor. Not anymore.

I’m forty-three years old. It’s time to stop messing about.

Life is sneaky.

It teaches lessons we didn’t know we needed learning.

This year’s focus will be on the act of writing, on moving forward on novels, short stories, novellas, poetry, blog posts that have knocked about in my head or lingered in notebooks. It’s time to stop dreaming of or talking about being a serious writer and start becoming one, dagnabbit.

Life — is.

looking up at the Survivor Tree, Oklahoma City National Memorial, c2013, KB

looking up at the Survivor Tree, Oklahoma City National Memorial, c2013, KB


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