Sunday, October 2, 2011

Why "Where?"

Where I'm Supposed to Be.

What kind of a name is that for a blog? Why didn't I just get right to the point with Will Blog for Chocolate? Or Still Standing After All These Years? (Hey, I kind of like that.)

But  Where- -? Why?
(Where I Was)
Because. It's been the question of my life.

Ocasionally "Where?" as in why on earth am I back in Tennessee when I fell in love with New England the 7 years I spent in school there--with North Carolina, where I'd begun to develop a writing community before we left there 22 years ago. 

But mostly, I'm not talking geography. Though I've certainly played the "geographic cure" game in my time: "Oh, everything will be better when we move to Chapel Hill/Western Carolina/into town/out of town/an actual apartment/a house/a house with a real floor."

What I'm really talking about is "Where" as in "what am I doing?" "What am I supposed to be doing?" "What do you want me to do?" All questions I've asked over the years while pacing up and down our very long and wooded, more-trail-than-gravel driveway. Occasionally out loud, in hopes that some God somewhere will favor me with an answer or even a moment of clear thought. More often round and round and round inside my own brain, which by now must have grooves worn in it like the ruts in the carpet under our kitchen chairs in our old trailer.
The Long and Winding Drive

Questions that became more frantic those times a teenage homeschooler had drained me of every ounce of patience and I still had to walk back inside and calmly explain how to put together an essay. Or when more music students were on my waiting list then I could possibly teach without giving up everything else and I couldn't figure out if I was primarily Suzuki or homeschool teacher, writer or mom. Or what.

Or, as now, when the whole prospect of "OK, so I've finished another manuscript and this time I've got to figure out how to find an agent" seems too overwhelming. (. . .  ."On second thought, maybe this manuscript isn't actually finished, anyway; really, I should I tweak this, tweak that.  Or just scrap it altogether: whoever needs yet another fiction submission, anyway?". . . .)

If God, someone, anyone, in those times (these times) had sat me down and said, "This is what you're supposed to be doing. Just this. Not all that. Just--this," how much easier/more confident/happier? the years might have been.


One thing I am clear on. (Finally, something!) God is not a fairy godmother. He/she/it doesn't wave a wand and make problems go away.  Or confusion.
So after all these years of living in a state of continual doubt, self-doubt, questioning, whatever you want to call it--(waffling! obsessing!) I have to wonder. Maybe that IS where I'm supposed to be. After all. Asking the questions, not necessarily getting answers.

And going ahead, anyway--whether it's figuring out an AP Lit curriculum or starting another novel before the last one is truly launched.
Pushing on, even if, maybe especially if, living with the questions makes me feel like I'm driving with the parking brake on. So to speak.

I think I kind of finally get that this is what faith is. Going ahead anyway. Despite not knowing. Or ever knowing. Whether with homeschooling, writing, or even just living.

You think?

Where I'm supposed to be.

I don't seem to talk to many people who wonder about this. Do you? Even if only in those moments when you've run so headlong into so many brick walls that your bones are still reverberating from the collision?

Do you second-guess yourself--"Should I maybe have veered a little to the left back there? Or maybe avoided this altogether?"

I'm not just being nosey. I'd  really like to know.

Or maybe it's just me.

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