Tuesday, September 2, 2008



This is a picture of my daughter taken a couple of weeks ago at a local carnival/community fair. This was one of those bungee-trampoline deals. I didn't try it but my children said they felt as if they had been flying.

Those soaring moments, those wonderful, unexpected times when something delights us to the core!

I get those every once in a while, when one of my children willingly and without being told, shows compassion and generosity; when another child overcomes his fear of joining a new class.

I got them when I was a musician, when a concert or a piece or even one portion of piece went so exceedingly well or when I could feel a connection with the audience.

Occasionally, these moments are extraneous to the actual task: when my critique group likes my work, or when an agent responds to a query with "I'm intrigued, send me the full." And they definitely lift my spirits, but those moments that come from the task itself--when a revision of a tangled passage finally works, or when I realize where the story must go--those are the moments that make me truly soar.

I wish I could manufacture these moments and reward myself with them all the time. The thing is, though, they are out of my control. Just because I teach my children to be compassionate and not to be fearful doesn't mean they will do it. Just because I practice hours and hours a day doesn't mean the concert will go smoothly. Just because I write and re-write doesn't mean that the result will be good. As much of a control freak I am, I realize that soaring moments (and everything that truly matters, I suspect) are totally and completely out of my control.

But if I don't encourage my child and take him back to a class that terrifies him, if I don't practice, if I don't rewrite, then there is no chance for any soaring moments to take place.

That's the good news. Our toil and labor (my tribute to labor, one day late) can lead us to success. So my fellow writers (and anyone in pursuit of worthwhile goals), here's a wish and an encouragement to you: may you soar!

No comments: