As I test the soil to see if the old connections, the old nutrients are still on stand-by in my screenwriting career, I'm kind of shocked to find that doors are still open. For a writer, having someone professional out in the world who is willing to look at one's work is sort of like having the basic soil you need to grow an orchard. What I have found is that something about my past work must have been just enough to keep those nutrients at the ready in spite of the fact that I completely abandoned the field whilst I did some changes elsewhere in my life.
The shock, that I could begin planting my orchard with the thought that there is a market out there for the fruit, is multi-tiered. For one, I can't spend forever amending the soil and wringing my hands that there is no market for the fruit. I will admit that I'm really scared. If this is an orchard, what in the world am I so frightened by? It doesn't make a lot of logical sense. Orchards in full, mature splendor are abundance incarnate. The cultivated wonder of humanity working with Divinity to create something that will more or less reliably feed a community. What's so scary?
Yet, there is this feeling in my belly, and attached to that feeling are all of these messages which I can't quite read about the future. What I can make out on the messages is, "What if...?" And, I can only imagine the rest of the sentence with the most dire phrases...like...."What if my trees, for some unforeseen reason, don't grow?" or "What if the fruit is stinky?" or "What if it all goes really well, and I have to tend this orchard for the rest of my life?"
You can be a "fear of failure" grower or a "fear of success" grower. I happen to be both. Perhaps, because I've had a good dose of both, neither one seems very appealing to me in this moment. I would say then that what I am most afraid of is neither failure or success, but rather I fear change. I know I can take either result if I have to, but I have to say that part of me has really enjoyed the freedom of being aimless for a while, and as I walk around my fallow field, I really appreciate the loamy, dark earth and the 360 degree views. Am I ready to let go?
Well, it is true that there's this other field where I'll be working a lot over the summer called "motherhood". I have some serious weeding to do around one of my crops, my son. I see that he's being overtaken by some distractions that are not nurturing his growth (television, attitudes and entitlements). I see that I have to nip these weeds, which are a bit out of control at the moment, in the bud so that they don't reproduce later into habits with more serious consequences. This is going to require a few months of vigilance to see him safely into fourth grade and a new teacher and new classmates for the first time in three years. I have a plan for when he's with me, and so it is necessarily limited by my parenting agreements with my ex-husband.
Therefore, I still will have some free-of-children-concerns time this summer. I also know that my lovely man will be working out in his own field a lot for a few months. I am not afraid to be alone, but I am afraid to be lonely. I am susceptible to depression. It would be a good idea for me to have a project to focus on. I've cleared my schedule of classes after mid-June and so there are no excuses for why I shouldn't freely develop the design of my orchard, and prepare for planting in August.
Still, I feel scared. Abject fear. What if...?