A week or so ago I learned something grave and disturbing about myself that I’m not quite ready to put into print. But it has definitely changed the world for me, in that I heard a door slam loudly. Even though I had mostly closed it myself it was still left open a small gap, just in case I thought differently later and entered that room myself. And for a few days there it was starting to swing open and then *bam*! No more light, no more room.
And this is for sure not how I thought it would go when I started walking.
I don’t think it’s an odd coincidence at all–not believing in God and Mystery like I do–that another door I had already nudged open once has started to swing widely and welcoming.
It does occur to me that fear has kept me in this anteroom too long, sitting on a couch and enjoying the breeze from the many doors I’ve left cracked open. I think that’s how the much of the thirties are for some women. And I admit that I’m scared by having to go into that next room. But at the same time I’m a bit glad that it’s there and that I can decorate it how I choose.
Anne B., as some poor amateur historian called her earlier–transferring her nom de plume from Andy Griffith to The Brady Bunch–wrote genius works all through October and is now ginning up the gumption to take them to a publisher. Which I think she should do because she’s got a ready-made hit on her hands. Really. But I understand the fear, because it is that same fear which keeps me in this front room. She and I are so much alike, born one day (and several years, granted) apart. In a lot of ways we’re flip sides of the same coin. I stayed in The Church. She left it. I left college. She stayed. Etc. But I like to think that she is having her book born in October, I in November.
And it occurs to me also, as I step into this newer room, that even if I never have any fiction book published in this lifetime–and yes that would break my heart–I’ve still done what George Bailey did. Through writing I’ve met diverse people. I’ve touched lives in both good and bad ways. Now nothing I ever wrote pulled a drowning idiot kid from a lake. (Seriously, sledding is dangerous.) But if all we want out of this is to be remembered I guess I found my way.