Friday, September 5, 2014

Believing Mirrors, Believing Lanterns

One of the things making me happy lately is that I got my proposal submitted to Phoenicia Publishing.  Even if I get a rejection, at least I've got a proposal that can be adapted for other submissions.

One of my friends who is part of my writing support group asked me if I got it submitted.  When I said yes, she said, "Oh, good.  I believe in you, and I believe in this book.  The time is right for this book."  She said she was glad I was finally getting it out to possible publishers. 

She said, "And you've sent it to that agent [that you saw as a good possibility]?"

I said, "No, I figure I'll wait until I hear from the publisher."

She gave me a look, and I said, "You're right, you're right.  I should work on multiple possibilities at once."

All afternoon, I marveled at my good fortune.  I have friends who believe in me, who say it out loud, who want me to succeed.  Julia Cameron would call them believing mirrors, but I find that even when I have nothing for them to reflect back, they give that steady light of belief in me.  They're more like believing lanterns than believing mirrors.  I thought of all the writers throughout history who haven't been so lucky.

I also thought of Sandra Beasley's recent post where she praises organic poetry communities: 
"Anyone with an organic poetry community will recognize the archetypal moments below. Some are bittersweet at best. Many of us in the DC writing community shared a wave of sadness with the recent news of Wendi Kaufman's passing; even though I never got to know her like some did, I certainly knew "The Happy Booker." She was part of the fabric of my experience here. Each signpost is reminder of your literary landscape, your shared history, your common vocabulary. There is value in that. People would miss you if you up and left tomorrow. Don't forget it."

It has taken me many years to learn to appreciate the value of the writing community that you have.  In my younger years, I longed for a Lake District to call my own.  Where was my Dorothy, my Coleridge?

Later, I read more deeply and realized how much I idealized that community:  poor Dorothy who was such a workhouse, poor Coleridge with his drug addiction.  And I also realized that although they hoped they were making literary history, they had no way to be sure.  They were just living their lives, noticing the daffodils, taking long walks, planting peas.

I am not so blasé today.  I know the value of my friends, both the ones that live in this county and the ones that live further away.  I know that people would miss me if I wasn't here tomorrow.  And I know the priceless value of that connection.

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