Monday, October 13, 2014

Where The Future (writing) Unfolds

I feel lucky to live in a place so beautiful as Maine, and yet too often, as is the case with many folks, I suspect, I also feel I am neglectful of my home. Acadia National Park is at my doorstep, a destination for more than two million visitors worldwide, and yesterday was only one of a handful of visits my family and I made to the park this year. With the peaks of Acadia always in view, it is strangely too easy to forget.

Jordan Pond by MT Nickerson
I can hike, run, snap photos, picnic, stand on my choice of two dozen peaks, all with spectacular views of the ocean, the foliage, the small towns and fleets of boats of all sizes, from one person sailboats to cruise liners. This is there everyday. Proximity breads neglect, the sense that it will be there for me always, unchanged and accessible whenever I choose. Acadia is a natural wonderland where ‘I will visit tomorrow, or next weekend.’

I’m reminded of my neglect and the fallacy behind the thought that tomorrows are guaranteed each trail I hike, each peak I crest. I’m reminded of how I miss as a person, a Mainer, as a writer, when I cast my surroundings as another item on the To Do List. If I can cross an item off, then great, but if not, it will still be there waiting for me, right?

Ollie-dog  by MT Nickerson
As a writer, the concept of ‘tomorrow’ should scare the crap out of you, because I realized yesterday while hiking how many tomorrows never came for me, how many To Do Lists I wrote, how many of those lists were replacements for unfinished replacement lists that were themselves replacements that wound back into my childhood of unrealized ‘tomorrow tasks’. Writers must be in the world, daily, because procrastination gets us nowhere in a hurry.

Writing is the process of transforming words to wonder. Living in the world, living now, with immediacy, is the key to making that transformation occur.

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