If anyone had asked me where I’d be today five years ago, I would have said, right where I am. A terminal patient of the university, that everyone knew but never talked about, wasn’t going to make it home. Unfulfilled and completely drained, going to work each day only for the insurance, 401k, and money. The lifeblood of my soul intact at first, then seeping out slowly once the protective armor had been penetrated. Flowing full force in its frenzy, becoming weaker with each shot. Leaving behind a glassy eyed mannequin posed with a smile and a wave. I felt like the faded, dead tree in my yard that the resident pileated woodpecker pecks at endlessly, as if it can’t stop itself from doing what it has always done.
A year has now turned just past one, since my leave from all things familiar. Having landed in western North Carolina, where nothing is familiar, I actually feel like I am home. As if my life’s journey always planned on bringing me here. And at this milestone I have done some, if little, of what this journey was leading me to: writing. Writers write, right? I’ve done some of that, mostly in November during the annual NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). It seems that life’s journey was meant to be hard, tripping me up with time consuming activities: moving three times, finding/buying a house, losing my dad, (and the accompanying grief and sadness) and learning how to garden and care for a three acre homestead. Navigating a new life, forging a different path. And as the first leaves begin to fall to the ground and start to rust, that urge, that gnawing itch burns anew. Tickling me, taunting me, to put pen to paper and fingertips to keyboard. The flame is stoked now and yearns to be seen, the conflagration destroying any blank pages or screens in its way.
I don’t know what I’m doing, and I don’t know how to get there. I have a LOT to learn. I need to put in the time. I need refresher lessons on grammar, point of view, and format, and half a dozen other things I don’t even know I need to know yet. I’ll put in 10,000 hours. But before I do that…
“Wiggle your big toe,” commands the atrophied Uma Thurman, aka The Bride, of her main piggy in Tarantino’s Kill Bill after an assassin-induced coma spanning five years.
I may have a lot of work ahead and hard truths to face, but I’ll tell ya one thing, this bride is alive and swinging Hattori Hanzu steel. Sayonara for now, I’ve got some snakes to slay.