Monday, July 9, 2007
A Week of Letting Go
Sometimes I think the world might be well served if human beings were born with the words, "Let Go" tattooed on the backs of our hands. There are other places it might come in handy, as well:
Gravestone: Let Go.
Marriage: Do you, Clyde, take this woman and let go of her?
Do you, Jane, promise to love, honor, and let go of him?
Sex: Let go.
Birth: Let go.
Graduation speech: "Let go."
And, of course, writing fiction: Let go!
A few years ago, I wrote a book, THE SEVEN STEPS ON THE WRITER'S PATH, with the psychologist, Lynn Lott. Our Step 5 was "Letting Go," and that's going to be my overall theme this week, because this is going to be a week of writing in which I really need to let go, let go, let go. Of my characters, so they'll emerge as they really are; of my story, so it will flow down the rocks and over the rills where it naturally runs, of my sentence-by-sentence writing so it (I hope) snaps, crackles, and pops.
Sometimes I do this silly thing where a few times a day I think of the words, "Let Go," and I let go of whatever is in my hand. If I'm holding a glass of water, I set it down and let go of it for a moment. If I'm grasping a steering wheel, I loosen my grip slightly. If I'm not holding anything, I check to see if my jaw is tight, which it almost always is, so I relax it. It's just a physical way of making a point to myself--let go. Let go of running any part of my adult child's life, let go of running my mother's life which she has quite effectively managed on her own for 91 years, let go of running my life which can actually run itself pretty well, and let go of whatever I'm writing, like this piece. I'm going to let go of it now and go get some coffee. There's time later this week to talk about the miracles that can happen when a person lets go, and how to create a peculiar and wonderful space for them.
G'day, Mates. What's up with you?