“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.” – Henry Miller
For weeks on end, I searched; bereft of actually knowing what I needed to find. One moment I would be overcome by domestic frenzy, unwilling to leave a thing undone…and the next I’m lost staring off into the woods with longing etched across my face. Frantic slowly eased into submissive boredom. Apparently, the middle ground is what I found lacking as the days rolled into a month of unsettled compromise.
Whenever the opportunity afforded itself, the open road would call and beckon and I…I would answer. Full of apprehension – tinged with a huge dose of hope, my eyes searched the rolling countryside and scaled the mountains; waiting, watching, for what may come.
Minutes passed into hours, days, and weeks, until the mountainside began to wear a cloak of russet amber and burgundy maple. Goldenrod bent in waves, a sea of yellow nodding from the open fields. Squirrels were no longer frolicking playfully (it’s been a while since a crab apple bounced off my head), rush about cheeks swollen with their winter gathering. For some reason this saddened me. My malaise hadn’t hindered the ever tireless trek of time.
On the road once again, the trip winding down and the pup in need of relief, we stop. In due time she discovers a steep path on an incline, I glance down with misgivings. Oh it’s doable, getting back up would be another thing altogether. The sun glints off something out of the corner of my eye. Pickles had caught the scent of the water and looked up at me begging. Can you guess who won?
I breathe in deep the aroma of river water, mud stones, and damp earth, while standing in the shallow river bed, wet jeans and sneakers, socks soaked through. No, I hadn’t planned on wading in the river with my clothes on. Pickles tends to pick and choose the eventful scenarios and how they play out, more times than not.
The sun warmed the top of my head, the water felt refreshing not cold at all. On each side the river stones went on for miles, an invitation to explore as far as the eye could see. A coil begins to unwind inside of me and I come alive, a smile spreading across my face. Here – here is what I was searching for. Someplace new and untamed, a place where silence echoed and bounced back to me splashed on the shoreline and against my limbs. Imperfectly perfect.
A burnt orange leaf dips and weaves over the stones following the twist and turns of the water – Pickles pounces before the leaf disappears. Kind of like the words I’ve needed these past weeks; flowing along at a trickle, me trying to pounce on the relevant ones, the perfect revision. Perfect words are rare. Imperfect lives with instances of perfection, an easier find.
I’d forgotten the one facet that makes me the kind of writer I am. I’m there in the imperfections, the storyteller who tells the story through my eyes and lets you in.
In searching for the perfection, I forgot to let myself into my own story, my own imperfect creation and I lost the most essential ingredient of all – my words. Revisions are hell, but I have to remember not to lose me in the process.
But then again, I think sometimes you have to get lost in order to find yourself. Hard to believe it’s as simple as that…
Picture from here