I have spent many days stringing and unstringing my instrument while the song I came to sing goes unsung.”- Rabindranath Tagore
When I first read Tagore’s poignant statement, I cringed. It described my sometimes procrastinating, sometimes stuck, sometimes productive approach to writing. I had a book in me, wanting to be written and shared. I made some good choices, like hiring a writing coach, learning from proposal writing and the struggle to integrate an authentic description of the book. Somewhere eight rejection letters sit in a file. And from that beginning, my stop/start/stop rhythm has indeed brought me here to this moment, two weeks from self-publishing an e-book that is part of a larger work.
Lately I’ve identified and accepted the part of me that balks at the statement, “I’m writing a book,”— this larger work that brings up images of walking straight up a mountain, with no training, no water, no gear. It was my writing coach, consulted after a long hiatus, who suggested I publish the finished, much-revised, obsessively tuned first section of my book.
Now I’m walking up that mountain on a gradual, zig-zag trail, learning about online publishing, social media promotion, and the lingo associated with it all. Just a tiny bit out of breath, walking steadily, with plenty of inspired energy left over to dive into the next two sections, written though not tuned, and other sections that are only words singing in my head.
The blue mountain in the above photo is called Pedernal, which means flint in Spanish. At her home in Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, Georgia O’Keefe painted it over and over.
“It is my private mountain,” she once said, “God told me if I painted it enough, I could have it.” Her ashes were scattered there.
Illuminated by sparks of passionate creativity, it appears both the tuning and the singing will get us where we want to go. One page, one painting, one step at a time.