… time to appreciate my work …

Yesterday a friend called my home a little palace. The semi has a lot going for it – road & off-road parking, a lovely back garden which opens additional living-space in summer, provided there is enough of a sunny summer. Over the years I had my share of annoyances coming through the adjoining walls – the TV of an old man who didn’t believe in hearing aids, a couple who screamed at each other every other night, and recently a developer who put up an extension and is now gutting the house to create an open-living space …

P1070069 - smallerSo when I saw the ad for a Chapel not far from where I live, my imagination soared – I envisaged part-ceilings with upstairs galleries and features of functional beauty – a little palace without adjoining walls, right?

That was until I popped over to look at the place. I guess the Parish cashed in on the adjoining land before they sold the Chapel as bargain to someone with a dream, who, unable to realise it, let a few years go by and is now hoping for profit – from another dreamer.

While the green roof enchants, the boundaries of the plot permit only a shoulder-hunched walk around the building. There is no room to park a car, let alone a builder’s van, without blocking a footpath or the narrow lane.

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My sudden surge of energy, I understand, is in line with spring and, to come to the point, my need to overcome an obstruction that is pervading all else in my life, namely the dwindling hope that a publishing contract I signed nearly two years ago is going to result in the launch of my novels. The chapel with its constricting plot inhibiting development reflects precisely my deflated spirit and the state of mind I trapped myself in.

Given the nature we are, spring urges in us for scope and inspiration to move forward in different ways. For me – it’s time to appreciate my creative work and count my blessings. It would be marvellous to be in Chuang-Tzu’s position, but unlike him, most of us must summon an inner Kingship that keeps patient faith with our art.

A LITTLE STORY ABOUT TIME

Among Chuang-Tzu’s many skills, he was an expert draftsman. The King asked him to draw a crab. Chuang-Tzu replied that he needed five years, a country house, and twelve servants. Five years later the drawing was still not begun. ’I need another five years,’ said Chuang-Tzu. The King granted them. At the end of these ten years, Chuang-Tzu took up his brush and, in an instant, with a single stroke he drew a crab, the most perfect crab ever seen.

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20 Comments

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20 responses to “… time to appreciate my work …

  1. Woah…

    The Chuang-Tzu story is perfect for a writer 🙂

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  2. May the Queenship be with you and Spring usher in new growth, less boundaries. Can you give potential publisher a deadline – ? Elsewise, time to move on?

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  3. been there, done that. The only perfection you will ever find is inside your head. The externals are all going to be flawed somehow. It takes a long time to accumulate the right vives to draw a crab.

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  4. Equipoise seems your natural talent. Dreams,I find, have a limited life, and even if made real, are replaced by a new intersection with age and reality. So much lies between the lines of this piece, not least the sustained trust in the launch of Course of Mirrors. You are hot on the heels of another writer disappointed by promises, and the endless delay has huge power to erode belief even belief in oneself. Yet already you have begun to re-align…I admire your clarity and resolve and we must think afresh about ‘Mirrors’!

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    • I love the way you revive words 🙂 And yes, equipoise eventuates a theme – based on extremes of ups and downs in my life. I relate it to a re-occuring pattern set during and after my birth. Stanislaf Grof talks about such condensed experiences in his birth matrix charts.

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  5. Huddled together the way most of us living in UK are these problems come up over and over – we had a neighbour who would regularly waken up on a Sunday with a wild idea and take out his hammer and begin – only to have to have the damage repaired by weeks of work by contractors. He then complained about my daughter’s music! I guess we all have different ideas of peace. The chapel of your dreams doesn’t exist does it but the dream did and that’s valuable, and that roof – oho – trouble there for sure – green is not necessarily good on a roof!!!

    Why not beard the publisher in his den and free your stories so that you can help them to fly yourself?

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  6. Oh Ashen, I am so so sorry sweetie. I love the little story btw, but my heart breaks for the sentiment behind it. I feel so dreadful for your predicament.

    Okay, there are four things I can share with you:
    1. You ARE an incredibly talented, uniquely voiced writer with a soul and heart as deep as the ocean and as inspirational as the stars. I know this. When I first joined Authonomy in 2010, you aka Pia, were one of the most inspirational writers and friendly generous people on there. Your wisdom and kindness are evident in EVERYTHING you say and do and your writing simply sparkles.
    2. The road to success is sadly littered with the crushed dreams and abandoned hopes of so many great writers. BUT, those that succeed do so because they choose not to turn back, but to continue traversing that mountainous path despite the sharks circling and the pitfalls. What has happened to you IS crushing. Having been so badly burnt with my awful ex-publishers, I do know how you feel sweetie and it’s horrible. That awful emptiness of unfulfilled realisations, that the dream you thought you signed into, was actually either a nightmare or simply a hollow shell. BUT…to use the wise words of Maya Angelou…”And still I rise”…you WILL rise from this.
    3. Read over your contract with a fine tooth comb then read it again. Most contracts have a time limit whereby the publisher states that they will publish said work within a certain time frame. If this is the case with your contract, then by passing that time period they have effectively broken the terms of the contract themselves. This is important, as it gives you options. You should then be able to leave WITH your work as the contract is already voided. None of this is easy or pleasant, but if they really are not committed to producing your beautiful book, then you cannot be tied to them indefinitely. You and your books deserve to be free and seek representation elsewhere.
    4. As dark and constricting as you feel now…there IS life after such calamities. I honestly believe any publisher would be thrilled to have such a work on their books. I know it’s demoralising and crushing, the thought of starting all over again, but you need to weigh that against having no forward motion at all.
    All my love, hugs and good karma are flying your way. XXXXXX

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    • Thank you Sophie, your wind of passion is legendary, always filling the sails of your friends with inspiration.
      It ‘s not the sharks that threatened me 🙂 it’s the silence after each promise that troubled. No worry though, I can step out. I did take my time over the contract, partly because of your experiences, and your freely shared advice at the time. I must thank you for that.
      It’s not personal. I know the publisher dealt with obstruction and catching up tends to be relative to circumstances. Not for me to know, judge or comment on.
      As regards my novels, they are enjoyable, and I believe they’ll find a large readership. One way or another the works will start getting out there in 2015, including poetry.

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      • That sounds fantastically positive honey, well done you! Yes, I’d guessed they weren’t sharks like mine, but more of the empty shell perhaps. Either way, I just wish you the very very best sweetie. I know CoM will hit the shelves this year and be the wild success it deserves to be. You’re doing everything right though honey, not rushing into anything and giving yourself time to contemplate the best way forward. Well done for that too. I was like a headless chicken, too much in shock and horror over the whole thing to think straight. I wish I’d had your level head over it! 😀 Just take care sweetie, whatever you decide, and I’m here anytime you need me. ❤ xxx

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