I'm starting a new book. I think I already told you about it. A story for my father-in-law about his childhood mentor. It's a study in making up history since I don't know a lot about him or the mentor. I can only imagine what their lives were like.
Sitting on the couch in my library, I'm finding ways to avoid writing. I hear my husband, rattling around in his studio. I imagine him painting, dancing back and forth in front of a new canvas. Sometimes, he is afraid to commit color to a surface, afraid that he might fail, just as I am afraid I might fail to find the words to write. I'm afraid my imagination will fail me. Do I have it in me to create?
The door to his studio just opened and closed. Now I imagine him outside, ranging around his old Model A truck, contemplating how he'll restore it this Spring. Ah, Spring! How does anyone do anything on such a beautiful day? He's coming up the stairs now to the main house. Perhaps he'll join me in my game of procrastination. Perhaps he'll save me from it.
No, I hear a brush drop. I imagine him picking it up, grabbing his palette. He has resumed work.
It is time for me to do the same. Writing is hard because it is alone work. And being alone is perhaps the hardest thing of all. Will anything save me from being alone with myself?
Today our daughter left for a new apartment closer to school. She says she fears being alone, not for her safety but for sanity. She just broke up with another boyfriend, an unsatisfactory relationship - not abusive, just second-rate. One in which she couldn't fully be herself. She's opted for making it on her own to being in a mediocre relationship.
I know there are books out these days about settling for a "good enough" relationship. You don't have to be single and hold out for the "right one" forever, they say. I'm not sure I agree with this. Holding out for the "right one" is holding out for the one who enhances your Self. It's not enough to just not be alone. One must be at peace with one's aloneness before joining up with another soul. My husband and I didn't choose each other to escape the loneliness but rather to share it, until our mutual emptiness united us both.
I think the fear of aloneness is the root of procrastination. Some might say it's fear of failure but at the root of the fear of failure is the fear of rejection and the root of the fear of rejection is the fear of being all alone in the world.
My husband just walked in. I ask him how it's going and he says "good. How about for you?" I say "good" in hopes that it will be. He can't live my life for me, no matter how close we are. It's up to me to handle my aloneness. I don't HAVE to write but I'd like to. So, up again old heart. Fill the void with imagination. In the end, that's all I can truly call my own.