When I was younger I would, on occasion, end up in one of those Career Choices meetings where a kindly (if frustrated) person Who Knew The Way the World Works would seek to advise people of my general age, height, and social standing, about What Sorts of Things I Should Be Thinking About. These would inevitably lead, at some point, to the question;
‘But what do you want to do?’
To which I would say, ‘write’ or occasionally ‘make things up for a living’.
And the answer would inevitably be, ‘That’s not a real job, but I suppose there’s no harm in it…’ By which I think they meant that there probably was harm, in the form of penury, starvation, futility, and a generalized uselessness.
Thankfully, I ignored them.
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Way-finding (verb) cultural and personal practice; 1. To plot a course between two points of departure and destination…
I’m in the middle of leaving a house of nine years and perhaps a country that has been a home for twenty – and so I shouldn’t be surprised to find myself stressed-out, disjointed, twitchy-limbed and generally disassociative. Manically ordering things into Keep, Kill, and Give Away boxes, before a memory in a bare kitchen forces you to resort said boxes. Moving is, I have realized, doing the Shell Game thing with your entire life.
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Weeell, as you may know, I have been hammering away at the Next Shiny Thing, another novel (CODENAME: Not-so-cozy) and have had to set it down to have a long think and reorder. In the meantime though, the Cityverse has some iiinteresting things in development, and for my own projects I appear to be writing Ecology/Joanna Macy inspired spoken-word/slam poetry.
Breathe, I remind myself.
I’m standing on the uncompromising concrete of some western town, surrounded by glass and stop lights and hurried, tight faces. The world feels cold, and cruel, and small.
No, REALLY breathe, I have to say. Right down to the gut and back. Let it out slowly.
There. It feels better, don’t it?
I have to do this. I have to give these little moments to myself, to sprinkle them through the day like wildflowers. I like to think that there’s a thing that happens when we remember the gifts we carry: that the world feels more open somehow, more comforting, more exciting.
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