So, lately I’ve been taken down a long tour of my own life and subconscious by forces as yet unknown (I lean toward blaming the Holy Spirit, because it has His fingerprints all over it.) This has been fairly distressing– who, honestly, would feel comfortable looking back at their life and every crappy thing they’d ever said and done? It’s productive, I’m certain, but it’s harrowing. No, sir, I did not want to remember my junior high years in detail, nor did I wish to see myself in the cold clear light of honesty. It’s much easier to tell one’s self pretty lies about how they’re basically nice, decent, honorable folks.

Those lies, though, have been denied to me of late. It’s like being trapped in a reverse “It’s a Wonderful Life” where the horrible reality is that I’ve made a lot of things worse through my own flaws and failings. Or maybe it’s more like “Groundhog Day” without the possibility of redemption. Anyway, I’ve been asking for clarification and help and strength and all these goodies for myself for so long that I didn’t really expect an answer to my pleas.

And I didn’t really enjoy the answer once I got it. Suffice it to say that the answer I got (from whatever source) was essentially the truth about life itself: spending too much time navel-gazing is not only unproductive but also somewhat ridiculous.

So, the year that I turned 40 was all about survival. Would I live to be 40? Would I survive childbirth at 40? Would the baby survive his infancy? All of those questions ate up all of my attention, time, and nerve for that year.

The theme of my 41st year, so far, seems to be discovery. Who am I? What is my purpose? Where am I going and where have I been?

Like I said, it’s been rough. I prefer life through rose-colored glasses, and this light’s more of the searing-your-eyeballs sort.

Today, I finally figured out what novel I am supposed to write.

I don’t know if I actually have the strength to write it, though.

I’ve been looking and looking for a way to tell my own truths to the world. And I figured out how . . . but it will hurt. It will really hurt to do it well. I’m not sure I can deal with that kind of ongoing agony.

Anyway, that’s the discovery of the day: the nature of the novel I am supposed to write and how to make it palatable to people who will definitely be uncomfortable with the protagonist.

Now if I can just make myself write it.


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