Wednesday, June 2, 2010


When you set forth on a new project, you quickly become aware of the usual playground gang hanging around, their body language betraying their interest in being chosen for your team. "Pick me, pick me" Enthusiasm postures. "I'm good in the late innings." "Hey, what about me?" your Inner Critic says. "You never really get going until you tell me to shut up at least once. I keep you honest." "Forget them," Risk chimes in. "You need me, especially when you start feeling confident."

One of the gang stands off toward the rear, making just enough movement to alert you to his presence, his size relative to the others enough to make you doubt the wisdom of bringing him on the team. He is small. But you've chosen him before and he seems to grow into his task. He is Voice.

Another figure who pesters you to be included is Research; you know from experiences on both sides of the desk that he needs to be watched carefully. He wants you to use everything he has dug up, because after all, what's the point of research if you don't use it?

You're pleased to see Disappointment hanging around, hoping to get a foothold somewhere, because in his way he reminds you that you start with a vision which you hope to bring into Reality, and what you end up with is not going to be as brilliant or as wonderful as that first vision you had of it. But here, coming across the playground you see Different and, as though he were leading a kid brother, but the closer they get, you see it isn't a brother, it is a sister. She is Completion. You want them both on your team. You want this project to be different and you are eager to see what it will look like.

You are doing it all for Discovery, of course, that pulsing moment of awareness that comes upon you when you least suspect it, sometimes yanking you into Confrontation with the Awareness that was lurking there in the shadows all the time. Awareness is a humbling thing; no sooner is it out and running around the inner playground that is your imagination than it pauses for a moment to catch its breath and allow you to catch yours before whispering to you that this thing you now know for such certainty and in such pellucid vision is something well known by any number of others. It is fucking time you did know it, Awareness says, raising its voice just enough so that if you were, say, in a restaurant, persons at other tables would turn to see who was speaking out in that manner.

Your revenge, if you care to use that word, is the knowledge that however late it was in coming, it came from your process of writing rather than any other process you might have; you got it by synchronicity, the happy discovery that emerges when you have put forces of yourself in motion and remained with them through their permutations and resolution. All right, it isn't revenge because you aren't in truth getting even with anyone or anything, even if in fact you set out to do just that. It isn't revenge at all, it is fun. It may have taken work and doubt and those three-in-the-morning existential loneliness that arrives on schedule to keep you honest. But it is fun. Of course you are already spending the money you might possibly make from such activity, in fact spending more than you will probably make, but in addition to being fun, it is the kind of expansiveness that makes you who you are.

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