Friday, January 25, 2013

The End and the Beginning

Letting go. Hanging onto a tree branch, with no way to get back on top of it, my arms too weak to lift me, I clung to that sticky branch that smelled of sap. The crumbling bark, the texture of ribbed cardboard, still managed to scratch my sunburnt skin.

"Let go!" the neighbor boy yelled up to me. He was a lanky bully with big teeth but he wasn't picking on me. He was having a moment of compassion. "You'll be okay."

"Will you catch me?"  My nose was running and I pressed it to my shoulder, wiping tears and snot on my T shirt. I sniffed.

"It's not that far," he hollered back. "Don't be afraid. At worst your ankles will just sting."

I knew that feeling, from summer days spent jumping from the haymow. Miss the straw and a shock like live electricity sends a jolt from toe to head. The aftershock always buzzed in the ankles.

My elbow cracked. I took a deep breath. But I was really scared. It seemed far to fall. But then my rational mind argued. I'd jumped from much higher places. Why was I so afraid? It made no logical sense.

But I was afraid because it was this time. Not last time. But this time, right now.

I took in another deep breath then a third. I thought I might count to three, but then my mind went blank, less than a split second after I made a mental shift. It was a decision. As simple as that. Let go. No terror. No worries. Numb. Let go.

I let go.


Today I launch the first book of a series I've been working on for 26 years. This blog is dedicated to the writing process and the psychological journey we all go through as writers. Sometimes we seek medication, sometimes meditation, and sometimes a bottle of sweet Riesling. Few if any are immune to the moment--the ramping up before the jump. The nervous energy before sitting down. And sometimes there is that one story you want to keep for yourself, or maybe you want to share, but it has just gotten too close, stuck into your skin like a piercing you chose.


Mary Knapp said...

congratulations! can't wait to read it!

Maddy said...

26 years. Okay, you got me there. What an achievement, congratulations to you.

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