I have come to the conclusion that nothing is wrong. That would be nothing as in absolutely nothing. This is not to say that I do not frequently feel that things are wrong. At some point everyday I feel that something is wrong with my wife or with my son or with my computer or with my work or with the politics or football or, of course, with me. On some days, most of what I see looks wrong.
Yet there is a difference between something looking wrong and something being wrong. The understanding or lack of understanding of that difference has been the source of all my suffering and all my ease, all my failure and all my success. I will always suffer when I perceive the world as incorrect, the way I will always suffer when I bend my fingers backwards. And I will always fail when I try to fix that world, the same as I would fail to fix my apple tree when it doesn’t bloom in winter.
For this reason much of my day is spent remembering that nothing is wrong. Writing has been one of my best teachers for learning to see the world as it is instead of how I have imagined it in my frustration and fear. I cannot write what I cannot see. Most of my work time is spent focusing the lens of my imagination until the world I am trying to write is clear enough in my mind that I can render it completely and accurately in words.
This focusing is always a process of remembering, of looking past the stories I have told about the world and to the story the world is trying to tell me. Because if the world could actually speak to me, it would tell me that nothing is wrong with it, the same as I would say that nothing is wrong with me.
Write Within Yourself: An Author’s Companion.
“A book to keep nearby whenever your writer’s spirit needs feeding.” Deb Caletti.