Thursday, November 19, 2009

where should i start?

Beginnings are actually quite forgettable places. The interesting parts are usually lost between moments that we think are the ones that matter.

On the cusp of turning forty, I stood in the doorway of the restaurant I was working at and vowed that everything in my life would be different by the time my birthday came along. I was ready for a change, something new in my life. I have always believed that if you hang out anywhere long enough it will either kill you or you'll end up running it. As I stood in the very doorway I had walked into fourteen years earlier I realized that for all the things that were different in my life, I was basically standing in the same spot, over and over again.

In very short order, I left that job (or it left me depending on who is reading this post), moved so far from downtown New Orleans ,where I had lived my entire adult life, I could see the Mississippi State Line, lost everything to a wall of water twenty-five feet high, and found myself in a city that had I written down a hundred places I never wanted to live, it would not have made it onto the list in the first place.

It was exactly what I asked for.

I just completed a short story, the first time in a very long time that I have seen something through from start to finish. I pulled heavily from my time in the restaurant business writing this tale, about people who keep making the same choices in their lives, and walk away happy, each time, like something good has happened to them just because something has happened.

It would be so easy to focus on the horror and tragedy of things in my past, but I don't getted bogged down in the why's and what if's. I've learned to take what has happened to me and turn it into what has happened for me. It's the darkest clouds that bring the rain, and showers life onto our world.

Only recently have the things that matter to me come into focus in my life. I don't want you to think I have had a moment of enlightenment, no. Like a babbling creek telling me life's little mysteries, I have always known what these things are, but it has always been just over the next hill, around one more turn.

Now, I sit on the banks of my river of experiences, soaking my tired feet after such a long walk, and dive in, headfirst, not caring where it begins. Maybe from a deep well, or a fog that once lifted, or just a collection of a million tears shed, I simply know that it washes away my burdens and brings me closer to the other shore.

For now though, I celebrate my goal accomplished. I wrote a story. The End.

...except endings aren't really...

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