Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The gods are watching -- and meddling

Sometimes I get ahead of myself, double checking facts and data and still getting things wrong because I was in a rush or was distracted, as when mailing out packages. As I told one friend, I'm an idiot. Oh, well, admit the mistakes and move on. That's how I usually deal with things. It doesn't pay to keep hashing things over and over and beating myself to a pulp. I don't look good in bruises. Blue and Black are my colors, just not when there's skin involved.

It's one of those days when I'm running behind schedule and the harder I run to catch up the more behind I get. It's the usual follow-up to a really good day like yesterday. I don't need a slave standing behind me in the chariot holding a laurel wreath above my head reminding me I am just a human not a god. I've seen the job and I don't want it anyway. Being a god is boring, else why would the gods spend so much time taunting, teasing and otherwise messing up humans' lives? Only gods would grant someone the gift of prophecy and then turn around and curse the prophetess so that no one ever believes her. The gods must have been regular humans at some point who were more advanced and more intelligent than the rest of humanity and got so bored with being perfect and untouchable that immortality was a curse and a burden rather than an opportunity to continue evolving and shepherding humans to the next level. Let's face it, slapstick humor is funnier than intellectual humor because it resonates with the most basic instincts, someone else is getting reamed and, boy, it looks funny. In situations like that, it's best to point to your own folly before someone makes it a bigger deal than it is, hence my confession about mixing up addresses on packages and the contents of said packages. I prefer to think of it as a misfire in synaptic firing.

And then there are those that feel they were instrumental in another person's success. No one succeeds alone, although most of the time it seems like it. A lot of people, most of them unknowingly, helped me get where I am today. Every story and article I edited taught me what not to do and how to use my strengths to best advantage. All the articles, essays, stories and poems I looked at and decided whether or not to publish, all the writers I taught, every piece of advice (good and bad) I heard and chose to use or discard, every person who believed in me, every editor who took the time to offer help and school me, every person who read one of my stories and told someone else, and me, what was good and bad, and every single person who read my work helped me become a better writer. No one's input was without value, even when it wasn't right for me, and I owe every one of them my heartfelt thanks, and I do thank them.

Writers believe they write alone, but no one does anything alone, at least in the sense of being touched by others and touching others. Every moment, every experience, every thought, everything is part of the process and becomes part of the writer and the finished work. Whether or not the debts are acknowledged, they still remain.

Everything we do, see and are is due to the blending of internal and external forces, a symbiotic relationship that is as frustrating as dealing with the gods and just as rewarding. It's magic and it's worth it.

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