Thursday, April 22, 2004

"When it's my moment in the beautiful I'll be..."

Still waiting for that moment.

Bilous whining aside, I'm doing decently well. I'm not hungry. I'm not cold. I'm not orphaned. I'm not afraid of bombs being dropped on me. I don't fear for my life because of the faith I aspire to profess. I'm not John Stevens, who appears to be the most (undeservedly) hated American Idol contender.

Why am I so upset? Why do I feel like sulking, and have felt like sulking for three days?

Damned if I know.

There are some ideas bouncing around in my head, but I don't think they're correct guesses at the problem.

Here's a technicolor irony: I am the worst email responder in the world, waiting weeks (months!) to respond to emails, telling myself I'll "get around to it eventually." But I wrote four emails in the past two days and only heard back from one person so far. And for a moment, for one moment, I was upset that the other three are taking so long to reply. After that lapse of memory, I summarily smacked myself in the head. I think I mumbled something about karma and female canines. But I'm not sure. The allergy drugs have left my head swimming and *still* congested. I would have had better results from actually sticking the "Tylenol Cold and..." caplets into my "sinuses." At least it would have been congestion without runniness.

Yes, that's right, Dave's discussing sinus fluids on the ol' blog-o-rama.

The illustrious Marty Peercy, whose wisdom I highly esteem (perhaps unduely), made a good point in a recent post response on another (more attractive) writer's page, that calling this brain-slop a "blog" is a misnomer. Weblogs being more like Dave Barry's than like mine. My page could technically be better classified as an online diary or journal (which elicits comparisons to the websites created by fifteen-year-olds posting about "whoo R the cutest bois in clas???" and "Blink is like the gr8test band. Blink 4ever!!!!!!").

That, as you know, is not the calibre of material found here, gentle readers. But I do see Mr. Peercy's point, and, as I try to ignore the shudder creeping up my spine, I must concede the argument. However, I will continue to erroneously refer to this experiment in public psychotherapy as a "blog", "blog-o-rama", "bloggadelphia", etc. Because I'm stubborn. And the stubborn stay the course... wait... nevermind.

Did I have a point? Where has my agenda gone? Was there a reason for posting today?

To borrow a copyrighted (not "copywritten" as my first impulse indicated) phrase, "...the reason is you."

Explanation: Due in totality to the urging of my dear friend and eternal diva KD, I'm reading "Walking on Water" by Madeleine L'Engle. Which is (thusfar) an amazing book that all writers should read. In one section (in chapter two, as I've started the book recently), Maddie (as I like to call her) describes writing as communication sent from author to audience, and that the author wants to meet the reader "on a bridge of words." She writes, "Art is communication, and if there is no communication it is as though the work had been still-born."

And, though I cringe to associate this mess with the loftiness of the word "art," I do admit that it is communication. In this sense, this webpage is not diary, it's not journal. It's personal, yes, but it is also public. My dirty laundry on the line. For you. There was never any pretense that no one else would see this page. From Day One, way back in September of 2002, it has been about communcation. Me to you. The original "you" was a readership of one, only one, and though that reader and I have had some hard times in the interim, we still read each other's pages, infrequently at least. But that readership grew. I started drawing back the curtain a bit more and more, so that I even let my students at the time peek in at my mind. And then it grew more. And more.

Now I'm pleased at the idea of conversing with readers on other continents, in other places in life. I'll admit that there's a little flush of pride that accompanies that statement. And I think that's okay.

But the point is... what is the point... The point is... and try not to get lost in the metaphor...

This is my bridge of words to you. I'm here, standing beneath this weatherbeaten wrought-iron lamppost. I'm looking out over the river, watching the moon dance on the watertop. I'm bracing against the wind, I'm blowing into my folded hands to keep warm, and I'm waiting. I'm leaning against the rail, and looking back and forth. I'm waiting for you to walk up, and shake my hand, hug my neck. I'm wating for you to sit on the bench with me and hang out. This is why I come to this bridge everyday.

But when I stand on this bridge every day, I find it harder to stand on others. This bridge gets foot traffic, while my other bridges, the ones with wide stone bases and tall arches that I am still building, get none. And while I love this bridge, and love meeting you here, the question that keeps bugging me, the question that won't be suppressed, is, "At this point in my life, is this the right bridge to stand on?"

I built this bridge because I craved company. I build the other bridge because I know that is what I was born to do. And that's why it becomes so gravely urgent that I finish that other bridge, and others like it.

Because I think that only when I get the other bridge built will I finally get that moment in the sun. And I want to be beautiful.

Even in a normal sort of way.

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