The writer can spend a lot of time locked in a prison called The Future. There waits acceptance or rejections, reviews and sales. I have dwelt there often. So often, in fact, that I can forget that it is not real, that my suffering and triumphs are all stories I am telling myself from that stage called The Present. And not one of my predictions – not one – has ever come true. They cannot. What I foresee is merely a shadow of what will come, the same as the stories I tell are suggestions of a whole the reader must complete in their own imagination. When the actual, living moment arrives, whatever I predicted will be incomplete compared to life as it will be led. Life is composed of infinite detail, each as important as the next. If it is impossible for us to know the entire present, how can we possibly know the future?
Still, we try – or at least I do. I try and try until I feel trapped in a nameless and insidious suffering. If am trapped, then I must get out, but every effort to escape only makes this prison more real and more unbearable. I build the walls even as I try to climb them.
It is easy to forget that it is freedom I seek, not escape. To live free of the future or the past is to arrive suddenly at your own doorstep. Perhaps you fear it. After all, to enter is a kind of death, for everything you have made in the past cannot follow you into your home, and all the nightmares and circuses and parades you’ve dreamed for yourself will vanish in your awakening.
Write Within Yourself: An Author's Companion. "A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.