becoming

becoming who you are is as steady and slow a process as snails racing on concrete after rain.

with all the talk of authenticity and songs by rock stars on about being yourself and movies that promote being true to oneself, you’d think finding the self is a bastion of meaning in a cruel cold capitalist world and that’s true but its also true that anything safe from commercialism is patently dull, dull, drab, and likely ugly.

I’ll be sad for the day when my son now three no longer wants to watch the snails after the rain. The day he will casually crush their shells on the way to something else. Now, though, we study them, see a multiplicity of colors in the soft white, gentle gray, quiet brown of their shells. They are hard to see because their size and colors is just like the stones in the driveway so we are patient training our eyes to see the slick skin, the shiny trail behind them, pin point eyes stretched up toward the light, little feelers packing down the way ahead.

“Another one and another! So many! Look, the tiniest one!” How can he be so thrilled by their tiny movements?

Why is there such peace in my hour for writing? Why is it only then that I can move ahead and say, today, I’ve done my work? Here is the world I wanted collapsing: I imagined glamour, some level of success, accolades give me accolades–but, actually, this is it. To bring the mind back again and then again and yet again to the page, progress so slow that it seems hardly measurable. I know now that I cannot rush the story. And I know I cannot change it: these are the stories I will write, that I am writing. That no one will read them, that they trudge across a dozen editors desks before returning to my files means nothing to the story. Disappoints me like hell, but it also just doesn’t matter.

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