I dropped my car off, again, at the Ford in Brattleboro. Yesterday they didn't have the part. I walked the two miles into town, again. In that respect,today started out as a repeat of yesterday. The walk along Putney Road from Ford to downtown Bratt is not like a beautiful hike in the woods. But the sun was out, I got lost in the world through my headphones and let my arms, legs and thoughts move in time to the music. Just like yesterday, walking made me feel good. I wanted to keep on walking and walking--alone--listening to my music. I got to downtown and my day started to diverge from yesterday. As I strolled by a store window I did a double take to read a framed quote by an artist I'm familiar with--a guy named Brian Andreas who does this writing/art thing called Story People. The picture accompanying the quote looked like one I hadn't seen before which is why it caught my eye. It read:
I can imagine it working out perfectly, I said. I can't, she said & I said no wonder you're so stressed.
We all know which person I am currently representing in that quote. Reading it felt like a little wake up call. Obvious, but necessary. Envisioning myself as failed and defeated will likely lead to just such an outcome. I hope to change my outlook as soon as possible. I'm shooting for about 5pm today.
I spent an hour at my favorite coffee shop in Bratt actively working on a story. Not just editing what I'd already written, but actually writing new stuff and then even outlining the next section and beginning to ask questions of how the story might end. Feeling creative success, however small, always improves my outlook.
Then, the best thing of all happened. I stopped at the public library. It's where I am as I write this. Anyone who knows me well knows that the library is my church. Today I discovered the biology/ecology/botany section. Back to my study table I brought two books that will help me identify all the crazy shells and things I've picked up at the ocean over the years. I've got a book about the natural history of trees, one about foraging in New England, a book specific to wildflowers of Vermont (that already helped me i.d. a flower I've seen a lot this summer but haven't been able to identify) and a short story collection by Raymond Carver. Knowledge and literature, learning at my fingertips, continuous paths of discovery give me a renewed sense of hope, possibility and excitement about the world I'm required to inhabit since being born into the unfortunate species--homo sapiens. Much better to feel those things than despair, defeat and futility.