The Fool

The archetype of The Fool begins an adventure with a sack over his shoulder filled with everything he is looking for on his journey. In this way, we are all fools. Everything we want, we already have. For instance, for years I very much wanted success. If I want something, then I must not have it, and so it must be something outside of me that I must learn how to acquire. Because of who I am, success meant being paid to communicate with other people, in writing and in person. But how do I make this happen? I often wondered. What is the path to this magical place? I looked and looked and looked, but could not find it.

And then one day I was asked to speak to a group of people about creativity, for which I was paid a nice little sum. It was a two-hour lecture, and I had prepared more or les what I would say. At one point, however, I discovered that what I had prepared was not sufficient, and so I began telling a story. It was one of many stories I knew and had told before – to my friends, to my wife, to coworkers – and I told it exactly as I had always told it, only now I was telling it to a group of strangers who had paid to hear me tell this story.

That’s when it hit me: This is all I’ve ever done. Telling people stories is what I do. And now I am being paid to tell people stories. That’s what is actually happening here. This is success. It felt so ordinary. And no wonder I couldn’t find it, I thought on the plane ride home. I already had it. All I wanted was more of it. That’s what I was actually looking for: more of what of I had that I loved. I did feel like a bit of fool then, but it was a relief just the same to finally stop wandering, put the bag down, and look inside.


Write Within Yourself: An Author's Companion. "A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.

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