After the last three gruelling years of gargantuan writing, health and personal pressure, 2013 has so far been characterised by a great big zero.
I've done nothing new, niks, de nada, zilch, niente and nichts since the year began.
And I've surprised myself with how chilled I've been about going with the flow and just enjoying the time to live each day as it happens.
As the old Sanskrit proverb goes :
"Look well to this day, for it is life, the very life of life.
In it lies all the realities and verities of existence:
the bliss of growth, the glory of action, splendour of beauty.
For yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow only a vision.
But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day, for it and it alone is life! ”
In fact, I've been enjoying doing nothing so much I got worried and, when my 79 year old Mom decided to get her tattoo (read more here) I was inspired to give myself some permanent writing motivation ... and I got tattooed !!
The photos of my tattoos didn't come out well but, on my right wrist, in white ink:
Find your passion
tattoo (which is MUCH nicer than it shows in the photo!) comes from my grandfather My grandfather had a passion for
riding horses. His dream was to be a jockey, but his la-de-da family said “We don’t
ride horses in races, we only breed ‘em. You will be a doctor/politician like the rest of the family!”
Well, my poor grandfather became the black sheep of the family; he never did find his passion
and, sadly, ended up with a serious alcohol addiction which plagued him his whole life. He said to me:
Deliver the goods, for
I think it’s about time I
listened to my ancestors and “deliver the goods, for heaven’s sake!” As I write by hand
with my right hand, I thought that was a good tattoo to have on that arm.
On my left wrist, also in white ink (and much more attractive than the photo shows it) the tattoo is:
These past few years, with so many losses, joys and unexpected endings, the question has come up for me over and over again: what is my real destiny? What is the meaning of my life? Am I here to keep others happy, or to move
Becoming a successful writer in a world where readers are becoming scarcer then hen's teeth and everyone is writing and publishing their own Great Novel, to keep on writing and publishing my work requires the kind of faith talked about in Matthew 17:20:
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
In other words : in writing, nothing is impossible and having faith (in my writing and in myself as writer) will remove obstacles, even those the size of mountains!
As I hunker down to start work on my next novel, nothing like a permanent reminder tattooed onto my wrists to remind me that to live this one, ordinary life well, to live the life I'm meant to live, I must write from my deepest passion. And I must hold onto the faith that one day, perhaps only in a future that I will never see, my writing will move mountains.