Go outside, then, to the top of the pasture and stand witness to the tree swallows tilting a wing, iridescence streaked under a black eye beady with hunger and intent, tempted by the gnats clustered around my face. They are only hungry but their speed and courage are the grace I carry away with me down the hill and back to work.
Last week a timid but necessary insight revealed itself to me and this week, with nothing on the schedule, I have to follow up on it.
My work has improved, these are pretty good stories I am writing. But I am letting my characters off too easily. I am keeping them too safe. They need to be more flawed, more wary, more angry. They have to go down the dark hallway of my subconscious mind and what is really scary is that I have to go there with them. I cannot keep protecting all of us.
I have to carve closer to the bone each day and when I nick that hard tissue, I cannot stop. Even to scrape it clean with the side of a tired blade – even then, I know by now – I will not have gone deep enough. Everything hungry, everything with teeth, cracks that bone to eke out the rich, grainy marrow of compassion and truth.
And peel those back to find forgiveness for the slow work this is and the balance I have to discover anew every day.
© Margaret Grant and magoffleash, 2012-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.