My metanoia is this: I no longer care if the world sees me or my work, only that I see the world, because that's what makes me and my work most vibrantly alive.
This revelation didn’t fall like a lightning bolt, but has grown over the past year. It crystallized when I heard writer friends talking about the number of books they hoped to publish during their careers—eight, fifteen, thirty, etc. As they talked, I was surprised to realize I no longer cared about how many books I publish or write.
I only want to write the truth of whatever unique offering I have, be it one book, one poem, one line. Should someone wanted to publish or read my work--wonderful! But that’s no longer essential to me. Perilous thoughts, these, for an author’s career.
I expect the ramifications will be immense. But consider this line by poet Jane Hirshfield, from her book, The Seven Gates: “Scheherazade’s salvation, not unlike Dante’s, is accomplished by abundance and imagination.” Scheherazade used her imaginative abundance to stay alive, to live one more day, to ring with stories. I take comfort from that, because the more I participate with what brings me most alive, the more imaginative abundance I have.
Where will all this lead? What will happen to my writing career? All I know is I’m grateful to be stumbling about in this new way. It's amazing. Not only is this the best way for me to be alive in the world, it’s also the best way for me to make my best contribution to the world.
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