security turns to opportunity

June 24, 2010

General Douglas Macarthur said that there are no securities in life - only opportunities.

At times, the weight of lost security feels heavy, and it is a hard business to push oneself to take and put energy into the opportunity at hand. I think, however, that it's taking on that opportunity for all it's worth that drives out fear.

I'm three pages deep into mine, this afternoon.

I have long believed that it is life, in its natural state, that teaches us most. The classroom is, most assuredly, a place of learning. But it is the natural things: the things that come in and need our attention, our time or our commitment that teach us to use our talents, our skills, our degrees and our certifications.

There is a certain satisfaction in writing for publication, a certain triumph in being paid for one's stories. There is a pride, and a contentment, that comes in supporting oneself through ones own passion.

I have seen glimpses of that - the front page byline, the check for a freelance story, the "well-done" after deadline has passed.

This summer, however, breeds a different kind of satisfaction.

There is an entirely different kind of passion in writing that finds its way into a war. There is a drive for words, and more words, that comes in knowing that there is a boy, dirty and tired in Afghanistan, that needs your writing. There is a commitment that sparks when he, like a ravenous copy editor on deadline, asks for more.

That writing - the time spent putting together word pictures to bring him home in his mind - teaches me more about the beauty in diction and adjectives, verbs and subject placement, than a creative writing class ever has.

It teaches me how to write from my heart.

"A man needs something he can hold onto/A nine pound hammer or a woman like you/Either one of them things will do, Jolene." - Zac Brown Band


Kelly@TearingUpHouses said...

wow. sort of puts things in perspective.