"If you love something set it free. If it's meant to be it will come back to you."
I don't know where this quote comes from. I do remember it from the 70s and for some reason Jonathan Livingston Seagull comes to mind. OK, I had older siblings. So images of a bird, Simon and Garfunkel and Joan Baez flood my memories.
But I thought of this quote this morning when all of a sudden I had an urge to post to The Eclectic Writer again. Interestingly, I've been away from my blog for a while. There have been some jumpstarts this year, but I haven't quite got back into the rhythm again. This morning, however, I needed to revisit. I needed to write again. I needed to seek out an old friend and put words to the blog.
I've been on a journey for the past three years. I got my M.F.A. in Writing, left my corporate job on an indefinite "sabbatical," traveled to Lithuania, published a book, got a speaking career going, taught as a college professor...I've had triumphs, setbacks, tragic losses, scary health issues...I've survived a recession and raised children who are doing more than alright, they're doing great...I'll celebrate 20 years of marriage this year...I'll turn 49.
And I'm finally approaching a time where I can pause, reflect and, most importantly, think about the next five years. I always set long term goals on the five-year plan. That's always a manageable time frame for me to set a vision and then think out three years worth of strategy and tactics to make it happen.
I've probably challenged myself more than any other time in my life, and took risks I never would have imagined even several years ago. I pulled away the safety net and ventured across life's tightrope. And somehow, despite a few teeters and totters along the path, ended up on the other side of the circus tent.
Sometimes walking across the tightrope I held my breath and lost my voice. I closed my eyes, afraid to look down, but equally frightened to look ahead or behind. I needed to be focused on that moment, putting one step in front of the other, to simply make it to the other side. I'm not used to such a shortened stride. Sometimes I felt myself falling, endlessly, like in a bad dream and other times I imagined myself floating above the taut line, moving forward as if on a glider.
When I used to be a gymnast, I knew that a combination across the mat may look effortless, as though twisting and turning the body automatically put hands where they were supposed to go before the feet, and legs arched naturally over torsos, as if sailing through the air. However, I knew from hours of daily practice that the reality was that these amazing combinations were instead carefully orchestrated moves that involved incredi ble mental focus in order to isolate and tighten various muscle groups in quick succession. Pointed toes and squeezed buttocks were as important as muscular quadriceps to launch and lift the body...that palms of hands ripped open over again until the skin thickened into callouses...that one small miscalculation could mean injury.
That's why I'm writing as The Eclectic Writer. Because the laptop was waiting on the other side of the tightrope. Because the callouses have thickened and made it possible to type on the keyboard again. Because now I know that Jonathan Livingston Seagull is timeless.