Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Change of Direction

The sun beat down, baking my skin as I trudged along the sidewalk. My throat was dry and sweat was running down the crease of my back. My shirt stuck to my stomach and my shoes roasted my toes.

With the faintest of breeze, I felt two tiny feet touch my blazing skin.

"Isn't it too hot to be flying?" I asked.

"Isn't it too hot to be walking?" The butterfly fluttered his wings. I basked in the tiny burst of wind.

"It is a time of discovery for you," the butterfly observed as we wondered through the cement desert. "It seems you've come to a cross roads of sorts."

"Kind of," I said, trying not to giggle as he crawled up my arm. "No one ever said I had to choose one option."

"But having all your cards on the table is overwhelming," the butterfly chided. "You have to make a move sometime."

"I like the idea of learning before I leap," I said, pushing my hair off my back so he could perch on my shoulder. "I'm not going to be arrogant and say I know everything. There's a lot more I can learn."

"Yes and no," the butterfly said. "Technique, yes. Talent, no. But always remember who it is you write for. Yourself. Don't change everything just to change the invisible voices you think are whispering."

"Very well put," I sighed. "There's just so many variables, you know? Self-publishing has a stigma, small presses have a stigma and you can't get into big houses without an agent and a prayer. Yet I honestly believe this will work out. I know it will, deep in my gut. I have so much I want to do, so much I want to create. Yet I'm standing here screaming to deaf ears."

"Everything has the risk of failure," the butterfly pointed out. "You define your own success. You've spent your life going your own way. Why would you choose to follow the herd now?"

"I just don't want to be shoved into a box with a label," I grumbled.

"People will label you, for that is the only way they can understand you," the butterfly said. "As long as you don't label yourself, your work will be the best it can be."

"I just wish I had a definite answer," I whined. "Something concrete."

"Have faith," the butterfly whispered, his wings brushing against my cheek. "And trust in your faith and love in your work. That is the only concrete you need. Everything else is luck."

With that, he flew away into the stale warm air. I squinted up at the sky, watching as he floated toward the white clouds.

I didn't need to ask when he would return. For I had faith.

3 comments:

Marie said...

I love your butterfly tales Duckie. I think that fear of failure is the one factor that prevents most of us from realizing our full potential. We have to have faith in ourselves, for if we can't have faith in ourselves how ever can we expect anyone else to? I know you will be a success in the world's eyes one day, but for now, just know that you are a success in my eyes. Your words always bring me joy. I truly believe it's only a matter of time . . . truly.

Mama K said...

Ditto on what Marie said. It's scary to take a leap of faith. Frank was never scared...me, I'm more the cautious type but have great admiration for those that "just jump".

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