Finding My Way Back

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” Francis of Assisi

It’s been more than two months. I’m finally contemplating going back in. But I dread it. I know I will scramble and search. And scramble some more. There will be many long hours of nothing. No guarantees I will find even a hint of what I started.

You see I’ve been distracted, immersed in activity and noise. I like the kind of work that perpetuates this. I’m good at anything that demands quick thinking and organization skills. I’m not so great with work that calls upon me to be quiet. The ruckus gives me the excuse I need to avoid the other work I need to do. And yet it doesn’t squelch the niggling completely. Now it refuses to be ignored. I have to go back, do what I must. I know this and have begun to strategize.

I pick a day to begin, and then find something else that needs my attention. I choose another day. I finish everything I think I need to do (complete final reports, rake leaves, tidy that drawer that has long needed a firm hand).

I convince myself it’s good to start with nothing in the background vying for my attention. The work will come easier. I check off stuff on my to-do list. Blissful.

With a firm date set and my distractions put to rest, I picture everything I need to do to actually get going. I will adjust my space. I will wake up earlier. The darkness and solitude of pre-dawn will give me the permission I need to be quiet, find the voices again. I will go back to the beginning.

I will sit (or stand) for as long as it takes. I will pick at whatever I have. I will rewrite and rewrite some more.  And hope that this will help me find my way to the novel I started so long ago. It’s still waiting for me. It hasn’t given up on me. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.

It will be a painful process and I suppose that’s part of the reason I dread starting. Being away from my real work is never a good thing. The more I write, the more I write. The opposite is also true.

I see the time and place. I have a plan. I’ll squash my feelings of I-can’t-do-this. No time for that either. For now I’m eager to tackle what is in the realm of possible, while secretly wishing for the impossible.

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