Monday, December 12, 2011

Sometimes I Get Lost

There's a line from the Shelley poem, "The world is too much with us." by which the speaker of the poem laments that far to often we forget to stop and appreciate the things around us. 

I've have frequently felt that; it is easy to get caught up in the world and all the things that come at you.  I frequently lose sight of what is truly important to me and get caught up in the crisis of the moment instead of standing back and taking stock of what's going on.

But that's life.  My task is to stay on the course I've set for myself while the storms of life battered me and threaten to out me off course into some rocks or shoals or coral reef.  And that's not easy.  It requires I remember my plan and a steady hand on the tiller.  It requires strength.  Not physical strength, but strength of character and resolve.  The ability to see something through to the end.

I don't know that I am that strong; I suspect I'm more persistent (a good trait in a writer) and too stupid to know when to quit.  But the effect is the same.  I reach my goal but not after getting lost in unfamiliar territory.

The best advice on this is a line from Hamlet, "To thy own self be true."  Know your mind and stay the course.  Ignore the siren song of intrusions, personal disasters, and emotional upsets.  The writer, in this way, is part Jedi knight, mastering fear, anger, and hatred, and part scientist, seeking to reveal the truth through his or her writing.

That's probably a bit over romanticized but still true, I think.

So hang in there and do the best you can.  After all, each of us is only human.  We will falter and stumble and fail.  And when we do, we need to get up, dust ourselves off and start all over again.

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