falling off a horse

Posted: August 22, 2011 in Artists and Creative

I only have a moment to write, and you only have a moment to read; so I think this can work. I wanted to say something about falling off a horse, as I know a thing or two about it. This has happened to all of us. Picture it: you were riding brilliantly, strong, quick and steady, and with epic courage. And then, for one reason or another you fell. You got too close to the edge; an animal darted out in front of you. Something caused you to fall. Maybe you even broke a bone or two in the process and it stung quite a lot. And then one day the scrapes healed, the bones mended, and you found yourself standing in front of your horse again with memories of the joys of riding, how the wind felt rushing past and the thrill of blazing trails into the unknown. But you stand there for a minute. Then an hour. What if you don’t remember how to ride?

For me, this is the process of writing anything at all. I’ve just come out of an exceedingly busy, but good period of life which took me away from writing for awhile. And now I find myself in front of my horse wondering if I’ll remember how. A blank page to a writer can either look like fresh promise or impending defeat. So I stand here, deciding which one it is today. Some days you just don’t know.

But here’s what I do know. I remember what it feels like to ride, to write. I remember those moments of barreling down a certain path only to find an unexpected, delightful turn which changed the entire course of the journey, allowing me to discover something absolutely new and breathtaking. I remember the feel of fingers becoming light as air as they danced across the keys and the point at which they seemed to take over with a will all their own. And I remember one more thing which is perhaps the most important of all of the things I remember: that none of it happened until I made the decision to set my fingers in motion and to keep them moving. True, you won’t fall off again if you don’t get back on. But neither will you go anywhere at all.

It’s a trot at first, clumsy even. It feels a little awkward, yet familiar enough to keep going. But I know that if I keep moving, just around that bend up ahead is the most exhilirating view that I’ve never seen before. Or maybe there’s nothing new at all around the bend. Truly I don’t know. But that thrill of discovery is what I know will take me once more into full, beautiful gallop until I’ve forgotten myself in a flurry of wind and words whooshing by as I chase new thoughts and ideas in pursuit of something no one has ever seen before.

That makes it all worth it and it’s why I do this.   It’s why I’m getting back on this horse.

  1. dbh4asong says:

    It is so good to see you riding and writing again! I think you have nailed the feelings we all face every time we place our hands on the keys. Great insights that remind me how worth it is regardless of how the ride ends up. Thanks for bringing us along!

  2. Thank you, random reader 🙂 I appreciate your kind words! It’s a bit like taking off your clothes, writing is. You know this better than most and have been a source of inspiration for me to keep getting back on no matter how long it’s been since I’ve been thrown!

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