“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” ~ E.L. Doctorow
So, yeah, Doctorow was talking about writing and, while I’ve certainly felt that way in penning my own novel, right now these words are encompassing my whole life. They’ve niggled into every corner of my existence and, while I know, “you can make the whole trip” with not but a set of headlights, it’d sure be nice if I weren’t driving a rusted 1971 Pinto, exhaust dragging the pavement, and a Gulf size oil leak. Don’t even get me started about the headlights themselves. The bulbs are cracked and covered with a layer of deep red clay dust. I think one is definitely on the fritz because it’s blinking like a firefly’s ass on a sultry summer eve.
Y’all may remember I took a leap of faith in May and packed up 42 boxes of books, my lil’ pup So-kr8z, and my beloved artwork and headed West with my little black covered wagon. I had no idea where I would end up. All I knew for sure was that I needed a change – that the North wind was a blowin’ and a callin’ and I had to answer or risk a certain destruction of self. Oprah says you have to get God on the whisper and, as usual, I had waited till right before God calls the ever-lovin’ Tsunami.
So-kr8z and I got as far as Utah and moved in with my family; four children, three adults, and two shedding (but loveable, if slightly spacy) Golden Retrievers. To say that this was an adjustment to my typical Hermit kind of lifestyle would be an understatement so vast it would be like saying, “there’s but a few stars in the sky.” However, I bucked up, made a space for myself as Feng-Shui’d as possible, and set to establishing some sort of routine.
After my own lil’ sanctuary was as, um. . . sanctified as possible, I went on to tackle my brother’s home and mind and got him fired up to cleanse his own space. A few days later, as wise as a sage on a mountaintop, he told me, “I think you’re here to help us cleanse. You’re like a colonoscopy.”
All shit blockage puns aside this rang true for me. There is a purpose in my being here at this moment in time (Duh!) In other words, my headlights, as grimy as they are, have brought me this far. The issue that I’m struggling with now, however, is that those dim lights have all but gone out and I can’t seem to see even two inches in front of my face.
This has never happened to me before. I’ve always been able to at least glimpse bits and fragments of my future. Or, at the very least, I’ve been able to hold on to that foolish notion that I know what’s in store for me. But right now there’s nothing – notta – not.
Perhaps that’s okay. Maybe, just maybe, I need to take this opportunity to, not only enjoy being exactly where I’m meant to be (“Ding, ding, ding, what have we got for her Johnny”), but to also get my Pinto into the shop, sand down some of that rust, plug up that oil leak, and take a cleaning agent and buffer to those headlights. Shit, maybe I’ll even take this opportunity to replace the lamps.
How ’bout you? Are your headlights shinin’ bright or are they as dingy as a pup playing in the mud? Are you trusting your journey?