Photo: My summer wildflowers are months away from blooming. Yet they are emerging from the cold soil to seek the sun! Too bad we haven’t seen much of it this week. Everything in the world seems to be working on a breakthrough…
I had a morning off this morning, so I took my notebook down to my favorite little breakfast spot and got to work. I’m still working on Ploughshares and I’ve been struggling. I’m working through that struggle, but it’s a slog.
I’m sitting there with my decaf, waiting to order, and a man about my age, wearing jeans and a flannel shirt, came in with a man in a suit. They sat far enough from me that I shouldn’t have been able to hear them, but… I dunno… acoustics… I got a good bit of their conversation. Now look, I’m not an eavesdropper! They were loud and, I dunno… I like a good story. What is remarkable about this conversation I didn’t really want to hear is that it wasn’t some father and son having a quick breakfast (my original assumption) but a young techie guy making a pitch to a potential investor. Something something phone app…
It was obvious that he was nervous and there was a lot riding on this breakfast. I heard all of the filler words, all of the nervous buzz words, the unimpressed questions from the dude with the money. I really felt for the guy. I was like, bro, you can do this. You just gotta break through. It was the pep-talk I needed for me, not this dude bro I didn’t know. But here I was, eggs benedict in front of me, hoping that this guy would find his footing.
It is non-spring in Massachusetts. There was snow on my yard and my car yesterday. Snow. There is barely any budding happening, no green under the (still) retreating snow piles. We all still have our heavy coats on and we really haven’t seen much of the sun this week. I itch to unseal these windows and let in the fresh air, but to what end? We need to keep the heat on!
And with the no-napping and the pressure of two major projects (the auction sleep sack and the short story, both due next month), not to mention a little party for a certain little bear… I’m feeling a bit behind. Stagnant at best, behind at worst. I lamented yesterday as The Husband and I got into bed, “I’m going to be one of those people who is mediocre at a lot of stuff and never gets good at anything and none of it will do any good for us. It’ll all be this colossal waste.”
God bless my husband. He was very supportive and talked me off the ledge.
But it feels like all of us are crawling toward that breakthrough moment. When buds are going to open and flowers are going to blossom and grass is going to get green again. And I’ve been pounding at the creative wall for an entire week, just pushing and pushing. And this guy, he was just explaining and pitching and trying and
then something clicked for investor guy.
Suddenly, he seemed to see the vision. At least, more than he had in the beginning of the conversation. And Millennial techie guy relaxed, the buzz words fell away and the nervousness disappeared. He later walked out with the investor guy with a smile on his face. I’m not sure that the next great phone app was born today, but at least a guy got the boost of confidence he needed.
And I changed the narrator and point of view of my story, moving from 3rd person (my comfort zone) to 1st person and allowed a character who barely had a line before narrate the entire 1st scene in her voice. It was the best writing I’ve ever done. Ever. I can’t share it because it’s still a draft and it would void the story for entry into this contest… if it gets rejected, maybe I’ll share. But anyway, it’s beautiful and perfect. Its the first time I’ve ever fully translated the vision and voice I had in my head onto paper.
Breakthrough moments can happen at the strangest time and in the strangest places. Patience is required, and Lord if it isn’t the hardest of all virtues to obtain.
As for the non-spring, Mother Nature seems to be imploring that she’s working on it. In the mean time, there is a show to be seen if people would simply stop and look. Like, for example, as I type this, there is a snowy owl perched on a branch just above my stone fence. I cant get a clear picture from this vantage point but, he has been sitting there, swiveling his head to an fro waiting for his early supper to scamper on by. He’s beautiful and I’m delighted that he’s here because he’s gonna eat stuff I don’t want in the house! Perfect.
There is also this:
Four little kits came out to play today. Without their mama. They skipped and scampered and wrestled and hopped all around the barn for almost an hour. They are very skiddish, often popping into the barn at every little noise. I haven’t seen them for a week and they grow like whoa! Last time I saw them, they were under their mama’s foot and they were pretty and fluffy gray! Now look at them!
Oh yeah, and lest we forget, I had a morning off, so:
The Concord River is quite swollen from the thaw. It was wonderful to hear the gurgle of the water and see the strong current sweep various things down stream.
It’s primed and ready, just waiting for consistently warm days, some sunny hours. Then this place is just going to be awash in that bright palette that only Spring can bring.
Are you working toward that breakthrough moment, dear reader? Either those first leaves poking through in the garden, or recognition at work? Something smaller or more profound? Is your world full of energy at this moment, waiting for the opportunity to burst forth into something spectacular?
On this Friday, Opening Day at my beloved Camden Yards, I wish you a surprising view, a glimpse at something majestic, big or small. An owl patiently waiting for his meal, the first home run of the season, a child’s first steps, the love of your life doing that little thing only they do. I wish you brilliant pops of color in places where there hasn’t been for a long time. I wish you words that make you pause and think, coloring your world with something new and exciting. I wish you a hug, warm enough to thaw, long enough get deep down into the places that are still dark and cold after this long winter. I wish you a good white beer served with a bright orange slice floating at the top. Finally, I wish you something yellow, Minor’s favorite color. We’ll celebrate with a small gathering this weekend. The theme? All Yellow Everything.
Remember that you are loved, dear reader, near and far, known and unknown. Tell someone you love them this weekend, yeah?
Until Monday, take care.