Between Pavement and Lawn

In Speaking into the Silence on July 18, 2008 at 7:08 pm

I have been writing at work the last few weeks.  In addition, I have been reading essays by Montaigne. My plan has been to deliver a paper on Montaigne to an old college professor.  The Montaigne paper stood as a landmark in making way toward writing.  I was not just writing a paper, but proving to myself ways that I have grown, discovered courage, and faced my fears.

I was all locked up at about 3:30pm today.  I had finished all my work-related tasks by ten.  Sporadic tasks had diverted me from writing throughout the day.  I rushed impatiently through the writing as if meeting the deadline determined my ability as a writer.  My impatience grew into frustration, frustration into discouragement and discouragement to despair.

I took a walk to calm my nerves.  Prayer helped to center me back on the questions, “What do I want?  Why was I really writing for this professor?  What was at stake for me?”  A large parking lot lays adjacent to my work building.  I frequently walk the stretch of parking lot.  Today, I balanced my way down a row of wooden railroad beams.  The weathered beams divide the black asphalt of the parking lot from the cleverly manicured lawn area.  I strolled the beams in contemplation.

The idea began as a way of ‘revisiting’ writing.  I rushed through the paper in college to meet the professor-designated deadline.  Today, I rushed against my own deadline.  In college, I was required to read three of Montaigne’s essays; I chose the shortest.  In my current assignment, I had already written three reflections on five or six different essays.  Nevertheless, I rushed through the arrangement.  I reordered words and phrases that I had written, but the overall purpose was not capturing.

But, there was more.  I was writing to escape from my current job; for survival.  I was set on meeting my deadline rather than excellence.  I passed sporadic palm trees on my left as I mused on this point.  Heading back toward my building I exhaled a deep breath, now free from my self-imposed deadline.  Once again, I walked by the swaying eucalyptus and returned my building and the desire of my writing.


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