Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Whack on the Side of the Head

I got an electronic invite yesterday from my friend Vie, who said "The CDs are on my front porch; where's my book?"


Vie, my musician friend, already has one CD that I enjoy immensely and has been working on a second one for some time. Almost every week in the spring, I was faithfully bothering him about it, to which he replied "Where's the book?" I would laugh, say I was working on it, and we would carry on.

But now he reminds me of it, even as the thought floated through my head this morning as I ran. He finished his project; what about mine?

Why have I given up right now? I could come up with a variety of excuses, but they would simply be that - only excuses. Like all other things, to read of the struggles that some of the great authors went though to get published (and this before the advent of electronic media) is both humbling and indicative of my laziness - because let's call it what it is.

I have books on writing with me in New Home. I have time. Every excuse I come up with - I can't write well for a sustained period of time, I'm boring, I can't characterize - just seems to expose me more and more. What do I really want?

"Crossing at a Ford

'Crossing at a ford' means, for example, crossing the sea at a strait, or crossing over a hundred miles of broad sea at a crossing place. I believe this 'crossing at a ford' occurs often in a man's lifetime. It means setting sail even though your friends stay in harbour, knowing the route, knowing the soundness of your ship and the favour of the day. When all the conditions are meet, and there is perhaps a favourable wind, or a tailwind, then set sail. If the wind changes within a few miles of your destination, you must row across the remaining distance without sail.

If you attain this spirit, it applies to everyday life. You must always think of crossing at a ford."

- Shinmen Musashi no Kami Fujiwara No Genshin (Miyamoto no Musashi), A Book of Five Rings

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