Saturday, April 17, 2010

Chapter One, Part Three - Tilling and Plowing

I'm looking at the fields of dirt...What do I see? Big clods of mud in need of constant weeding is what I see. A couple of weeks ago it dawned on me: tilling and plowing. You don't need to know what you're going to plant in order to till and plow the field. This is about where I am at because at the end of the day I still have some issues with the fact that I don't have a full harvest right this minute. However, in reality I'm still not ready to fill that field up either.

I understand that tilling and plowing is still not planting seeds, but it is good work to break down resistance, clod by clod. After all, it feels like I've been laying around in my writing for a long time. I'm stiff on the surface and all mushy below the surface. It is good work to dig down deep and bring up nourishment from the darkness. It's good to rake out what is still in the way. There may still be some amendments to add to the soil (like maybe I could read a few of the how-to-succeed-as-a-writer books I've collected and let collect dust over the years). The enjoyment of making some order out of chaos is real.

I still have NO IDEA what the seeds are going to be, but I am content now with this exercise of tilling and plowing and preparing this piece of me until the seed packets arrive. I feel EXCITED, in fact, about my own potential, for the first time in probably 14 years, since before I got pregnant with my daughter. I'm starting to feel RESTED actually which is kind of the first time since it seems like high school that I haven't been frantic to figure out the plan. And, I feel ready more so now than before, 14 years ago, because I can tell you that any fields I had to offer then were choked with weeds as I was a great hanger on to all things past. I didn't understand about soil preparation at all. I didn't get that all of these "goals" I had actually took time to prepare for and that the preparation wasn't something that could be truncated. I had NO PATIENCE with myself when I was younger. I barely have enough now.

I realize that somehow some people managed to figure all of this out in their twenties, but I was too busy living in a fantasy world to listen or get to work. Now I am purely relying on the people who say "it's never too late," and hoping that's not a bunch of hoo-haw, because I see that if it took a year of doing nothing, it could well take a while to prepare the fields for the seeds, and maybe I'll actually have to go through a catalogue (make a list) of seeds and CHOOSE what I want to work on. It's a lot slower than I thought, but as I think I said, I really have to do something that I can sustain for the next 20-30 years, not any more of this scrambling to plant a small patch of beans in a weed-filled field far from irrigation -- which is how my previous existence feels now. It feels like the past was that crazy. What was I thinking? So, that's why I have to have people around me who support the apparent lack of progress for a while, and why I'll be there for you, if you want me, and can stand to share in the joy of soil preparation.

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