I hope you will forgive me from publishing an excerpt from your latest reply here, without permission:
“Will Kabir be crushed by falling rocks or will he fall into the sulphurous pit? Or will he discover the knowledge he needs to survive and triumph? Now in these stories there is always a time crunch; that’s why the hero is always told ‘You have 24 hours.’ The clock is always clicking.
So every day is lived with the backdrop of running out of money. If you had a couple of million in the bank, you could still write a daily diary but without an inciting incident, without lurking danger and potential disaster, it would be less interesting.
That’s what I mean by writing the story that is actually there, waiting to be written. The hero faces insurmountable obstacles. Insurmountable? No way. The audience trembles but the hero stands resolute, his vorpal sword goes snicker-snack.“
I think perhaps I have been shying away from describing one of the central characters of the journey of late. The reason for this, if I will accept the premise (and I think I will), seems plain to me on reflection.
In order to face the Dragon, and not simply fall possum on the ground, I’m needing to wield – as you say – the vorpal (the voice transcription software wanted, ironically, to write the word “verbal”) sword. The sword in this case is the ability to generate resources, to apply them with wisdom and strategy. To defeat the Dragon of financial ruin, social isolation, and not to become “crippled” yet again, and deeper still than chapter 1, requires that I wield the sword skillfully and dare I say, with lethal effect.
But there’s the rub – our hero, in this case me, while having heard the call to adventure, found the wise guides, has set up on the journey, and begun the trials. In this hour we have approached the Dragon, and the crisis is this! Sword in hand, I know not how to use it! I am a novice, not yet proven in this fire of battle.
I can hear the Dragon approaching, it’s breath stinks the air, the sound of its looming figure echoes on the cavern walls. It is close, moments away, but the time of its arrival remains uncertain. I have in my hand the sword, earned in trials before, but never yet used for its intended purpose.
I realized, reflecting on your invitation (copied above), that I have been working diligently to bring to light the MettaCare initiative in such a way that it can be recognizable to funders. I have been working, as humbly as I may, with many brilliant and kind advisors, seeking to craft a message of clarity and distinction. The process has, and remains, felt sacred, and I have been weary to speak of it outside of the doing of it. I think for that, the story has suffered as it has been portrayed on these pages.
“Snicker-snack” you say, and I thank you for the confidence and encouragement. Yet from where I stand, still struggling to get the sword to ignite, “snick,” “snick,” “snick” is all that I have heard. If I am to make a snack of this Dragon, I will have to get the incantation right, light the flame, and perform the kata just so. Again, I know all of these things, having learned them in the trials before, but to put them together, that will be the doing.
So each day of the past weeks, as I have attempted to juggle the ritual objects, have consulted with the guides, and made efforts again and again to light the sword, I have written of other things, many perhaps not on the through line of this arc. The reason has been timidity. The sacred objects with which I have been working, the sacred relationships that have guided my efforts, the sacred outcome for which I have been praying, have all felt too enormous or too fragile in my holding to risk any carelessness in the sharing.
So yes, that is where I am today. I wrote another 1200 words, probably the seventh effort of the draft continuing to craft and cull my way to the flaming sword of truth, held rightly and offered with precision just so. I did this, feeling the vulnerability of having had so much generosity of spirit and reflection poured by others onto this effort, and wanting to honor that with success.
Those words fall heavy. I know that the support given me has never been contingent on success. From Tyler, from Dave, from Caitlin, from Cassie, from you dear Charles, and Terri, and Eric, and David and David and Elisa, and too many others unnamed, all of this has been given in love and without condition.
Nonetheless, I suppose, through choked tears, how could I not feel an insistence to honor this love with success…
Failure, still looming, remains not an option for me. Yet again and again, I feel the pain of wonder, is this just hubris? Is this just drama I am creating? Do I think so much of myself in the face of endless time and evolution as to resist flowing like water where the currents will take me? What pain, loss, disappointment, and struggle do I create for others in this defiance?
Today I did work that I love, for possibility; still more work I love, for money; and yet more work for the love of art and possibility. I traveled through torrential rains to laugh and smile and get a detailed bone scan from a friend I see but once a year. Am I just practicing to keep an open heart and an engaged mind, or am I simply creating ripples destined to be washed away in the ocean of what comes next?
I’m sure this is waxed far from the story, but thank you dear Charles, and dear readers, for your indulgence. I will write again tomorrow.
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…