If I could tell the world a story, what would it be?
The first thing that comes to mind is a small child, a little girl. Tall trees cast long shadows as the setting sun shines through, making the grass look golden green. Everything is calm and cool. It is a day between summer and fall, an in-between day.
I have always loved the in-between places, the gray areas. When the clouds cloak the sky like a dome of mist and there is no way to know the time of day. I love riding through twilight and dawn, whizzing and roaring away from one place and to another. I find eternal thrill in traveling to new places. I am a natural born adventurer.
I am a gypsy. I am a nomad. I am a runner. I am a Native American, thirsty for the land. It seems like everywhere I turn, there are more walls. I am a raw girl, too raw to be called a woman. I’m in an in-between stage, always experimenting with new styles, not quite comfortable in my own skin.
I have love. I have work. I have my health. But I can’t tell where it’s all headed. I can’t tell if I’m on the edge of dawn or dusk. I imagine myself as a woman, refined and nonchalant, with leather handbags and matching shoes. Pearls and diamonds. Hair that shines and is always in place.
But I mostly feel like that’s someone else’s dream, a desire that’s been transplanted into my brain, a foreign object that has no real meaning to me. Because I’d much rather wake up in the morning and tie my hair back. I’d rather wear a tall pair of riding boots or hiking boots and take a camera into the forest. I’d rather drink dark, sludgy black coffee in the quiet, cool morning hours and leave the house at dawn while the world looks gray.
I’d rather listen and look for the slow things in this world–the hatching of blue jay eggs and the unfolding of flower petals. The thrumming and throbbing of the cicadas and the grasshoppers. I’d rather sit and watch the shadows grow long. I just want to live in the world the way we were all meant to live in it.
I don’t know where I’m heading, but now my uncertainty has been acknowledged, I feel like I have a choice.
If I was any good at talking to other people, I would explain to them that crossroads are hard to come by. The real crossroads, the ones where the unknown lies ahead, those are the times when you notice the shadows growing long, when you know the world is tilting one way or the other.
I think a lot of people understand the concept of transition. But I don’t think many people realize they get to choose which way the world turns. We, as a society, get to choose if day or night comes next. As people we make small choices every day that add up to an entire lifestyle. That’s the thing about being a writer. You understand who’s in charge of spinning the story. But it always, always, always takes guts to take transform your world, to stop looking to chance or the rotation of the planet to move things along. Stop waiting for other people to point you in the right direction. Listen to you heart instead.
My story is about a little girl who understood these things. She understood the tough lessons of love. She understood what it meant to fight. but then the rest of the world chimed in, and she didn’t feel good enough anymore. Suddenly, it was about big city livin’ and designer clothes she could never hope to afford. It was about nice cars and nice houses and nice things. It was about having a killer body and a great hair style.
And now that girl drives along the highway every day, knowing that our one true power as human beings is to create the world around us. And there are concrete highways and turnpikes and neon signs and cheap, ugly buildings that sprawl for miles and miles and miles and miles. And the thing that drives this eyesore of a world is the hope to make some money or to gain some power. What ever happened to spreading a positive message and good cheer? 🙂
I am immensely wearied by it all. Because when I drive down the highway, and I don’t listen to the radio. I listen to the whir of tires against asphalt, and the whooshing of passing cars as they break through the air. Folks doing what they can to survive in a world of imaginary rules.
We could have created anything, so why did we build this? Why is there so much asphalt in the world? Why is there so much waste and violence? Where did it all go so terribly wrong? I can’t answer these questions, so I focus on the possibilities. What can I do? How do I work toward daylight instead of nightfall?