Weaving Gold

Mokosha, Anastasia Sophia, and Me, Natalia . . . while the books are written

Expressing What Lives Inside Me

IMAGE CREDIT: Carol Cavalaris

IMAGE CREDIT: Carol Cavalaris

If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.
~ Gospel of Thomas

Inside each of us simmer and rattle countless ideas, initiatives, and impetuses clambering to be brought forth. No one story, poem, song, sculpture, painting, relationship, business, or adventure is enough. We are never done, even if we can call it quits at any time. I am perpetually, simultaneously saving and destroying myself. I bring forth, and I repress. I create, and I oppress. I think too much, and do too little.

Because the books that want to be written are foremost in my mind, when I read bring forth what is within in you, I think I need to write this book, or the other, now. I think I’m destroying myself by not writing. I tell myself my delaying, my ebb and flow are resistance, my writer’s excuse. I scoff at my fears: they are not real.

IMG_0489Rock Climbing

This summer, at age 46 and moderate (at best) physical fitness, I tried rock climbing for the first time. It was a modified, safer kind of rock climbing, but I found it exhilarating. A few weeks ago, I began indoor climbing with my fifteen-year old son. He could climb 45-feet to the top on the first day. I’m — not quite there. (Okay. Not even close.)

My favorite things to do are read, sit on the beach, laugh during dinner with my family, and walk in the woods. I am not a thrill-seeker. My adventures are safe and tame: trying new foods, travel to calm places, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking. And yet, I’ve been driving to the climbing gym twice each week. I’ve been strapping myself into a harness, and letting my son belay for me. I’ve been climbing with trembling, jelly arms.

While I’m on the wall, I feel fine. But a night, or when I am quiet, I am TERRIFIED. Yes, all caps, full-body, heart-thumping, mind-reeling SCARED. Fear rolls through me. I imagine, without wanting to, falling, being shattered. Worse, much worse, I imagine my son falling.

With climbing, the dangers aren’t metaphorical. I have good, logical reasons to be afraid. Writing is terrifying, too. What if my books are published, and hated? What if I write for the next three decades, and no one reads, no one cares, my work doesn’t affect anyone, in any way at all?

The Two Sides of the Coin, again

Everything matters, and nothing matters. I don’t have to write or climb or cook dinner for my family, but if I don’t enough, I will surely let repression destroy me. And so, I do. I climb, because daring dwells inside me. I cook, because love dwells inside me. I write, because stories dwell inside me. I save myself.

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