Here I go again, talking about change. I guess that’s because it’s such a constant in my life right now. Everywhere I turn, I’m faced with change of some sort: the economy has cut my work hours drastically; my church is re-organizing its service groups, just when I’ve gotten comfortable with the status quo; and circumstances are forcing me into finding a new place to live.
ereHChange is never easy, especially when it’s thrust on us without warning or our consent. That can make us not only frustrated and angry, but also resistant. But change can also be the best – and at times the only – way to keep moving forward toward our goals, be they professional, spiritual or personal.
When I moved out here from the East Coast, I had to pare down. Let’s face it, I’m the quintessential pack rat. My unquenchable imagination allows me to see that yes, I may indeed someday soon – in the next 10 years or so – need that article I haven’t touched in last 10 years. And given the fact that I get bored easily, I do tend to rotate my hobbies ; a year or two on, a year or two off. And now I’m forced to do it again, pare down into a place a quarter the size of the one in which I presently reside.
But a funny thing happened (after I groused and anguished for a few days). I somehow found myself looking forward to solving the problem; how can I pare down and still retain what I need to fulfill myself? How much of me can I fit into that room I will soon call my own? What actually defines the real me? It’s a challenge that’s starting to feel doable, and even a bit exciting.
I’m finding it spilling over into my writing life, too – or perhaps it’s my writing life that’s spilling into my regular life. However it works, I’m finding myself “paring down” when it comes to words: How many words do I really need? How many can I cut and still say what I want to say? Still retain my unique voice? Still capture the reader’s attention, and imagination? Where does the border of “bare essentials” meet the expanse of “more than enough”? That’s where I want my writing to dwell, in the narrow space where I truly come alive.
Where are you in your own “paring down” process? Are your word closets still too cluttered to see exactly what hangs in there? Are your kitchen cabinets so crammed full that willy-nilly words leap out when you open them? Do phrases, similes, clauses and sentences liter the floors and trip you up on your journey to realizing your lettered vision? Perhaps it’s time to open your windows and let the fresh breeze of change blow away the chaff, winnow down your burgeoning supply of literate canned goods to the bare essentials that define you as a writer.
We can’t escape change. We can’t ignore it and continue to grow. The best we can do is help direct it, and enjoy what it reveals to us about ourselves.No comments