Thursday, February 4, 2016

Seeing is Knowing

This is not news: I lack self confidence.

I always have. Despite support. Despite success. I don't know why. It's part of my fiber, I guess.

This has been getting better lately, though. I'm really working on it. It feels good. I feel like I'm on the rise.

Yesterday I had what felt like a break-through-the-glass realization. My skull pressed against some invisible, solid barrier and it broke through. I'm out of my own atmosphere all of the sudden and I'm catching my breath. There's more oxygen out here and my eyes are open wide.

It starts here:

I've always felt somehow less-than. Lower. Inadequate because my view is so narrow. I don't travel. I have never been good at staying abreast of current events. I don't consider myself well read. I don't form strong opinions. I don't interact with the world very much. My life is not cutting edge or adventurous. I'm in my house a lot. In my head a lot. I've always felt embarassed by my lack of worldliness. Unqualified. Uninteresting. Dull.

Which always leads me here:

There's no way I can write meaningful fiction. Where is my credibility? How could I even have a voice? What do I even know?

Write what you know -- this is what they say. But all I know is kids and cleaning, chauffeuring and online tutoring. Dogs and bus stops and farmer's markets; walks, parks, dance classes. All of this is great, but I don't really want to write a story about any of it.

But then: rise, press, crack --

-- and suddenly I find myself here:

Working on a fiction piece, feeling good, feeling strong, energized by the realization that I can write anything I want. Not because I'm worldly but because I see.

I see shadows in a full moon midnight, long black slats of darker darkness cutting across the yard. I see the new day peeling the lid off the night. I see the moon and I put it on my tongue. It cools my throat. I see absence and presence and exhalations. I know love. I know loss. I know fear. I know trust.

I am an elderly man. A queer woman. A bereaved parent. I am any of these; I am all of these. Because I can see.

And it's about time I acknowledge the value in that.