No one is all good or all bad, all light or all dark. The man entering the store who lets the door slam in your face might be having a very bad day. The woman at the checkout lane who is all smiles might be having a very bad day. A cranky child might want a cookie...or a hug. A cranky middle-aged person might want a cookie...or a hug. Maybe one day, for whatever reason, we don't give change to a homeless man while another day, we do. Maybe he uses the money to buy booze. Maybe he uses it to buy food. Maybe he gives it to someone he thinks needs it more than he does.
We are broken and wounded, cracked and cratered. We are also bandaged and scarred and healed. We fall, we crawl, we stand, we stagger, we jump in celebration, we dance with joy.
The world and its people are not cut and dried. Let's make sure our art isn't either. Let's fill our stories, paintings, photographs, meals, dances with nuance and shading, angles and perspectives, spices and rhythms. Let's make sure we're among "those who are smart enough to know better" and to embrace it.
For the last two IWSG posts, I bemoaned my poor horror novella, the one that refuses to come out from the dark, dusty corner where it's been hiding. I managed to coax it out in time for NaNoWriMo . . . only to find that what I thought was a pretty good story was really a giant clump of grisly ideas, cracked characters and mucous-y dialogue strands that have since formed a vile puddle beneath my feet. And did I mention the various eyeballs? Some look at me with total trust, others with desperation, and still others with snide contempt.
As ugly as the little monster is, though, it is still mine. And this November, we're a team. I'm handcuffing myself to one of its many wildly gesticulating hairy arms and dragging it through NaNoWriMo-Land.
What will happen at the end of the month? Will I come back with a sweet little novella or a shiny novel holding my hand as we cross Success Street? Or will the Monster make quick work of whatever sanity I've got left and leave me behind like roadkill?
Hmm . . . maybe I'd better appoint someone to wipe up all the Monster drool. Just in case. The tortoises do like a clean blog . . . .
Let's make sure we're not the people who are always saying they're going to write a book...some day. Make that day today. Start now. Or make that day this November - sign up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.)
I don't want to reach the end of my life with stories left untold. Do you?
The older we get, the more experience we end up having. But how much of that experience is gained simply by default? By going through our days, by being alive?
I admit a lot of what I've learned lately has come from just...being. Somewhere along the line, I began taking a back seat in my pursuit of knowledge. I started sitting in the last row of one of those log flume rides where you get wet just by being on the ride.
No more. I'm sitting in the front row, starting today. I'm choosing the seat. not just plopping into it because it's the only one left, because it's the easiest, the safest. I'm making a concentrated effort to learn and to grow, to challenge myself, to keep my mind active and open.