Whenever I had a bad day as a child, my mother would promise me that a good day would follow the bad one. She’d use the Arabic expression “yom assal, yom bassal,” meaning “honey day, onion day,” which to me, at least, always sounded as though it is predicting a bad day after a good one rather than the other way around. I won’t argue the point, however.
Yesterday I had a bad day. I woke up feeling irritable. I forgot Uri’s violin at home and had to add an extra trip to Portola Valley to retrieve it. I got too preoccupied ordering tickets to Israel and was almost late for my pilates class (I really don’t like driving stressed). I felt overwhelmed and over-excited, and though I kept appreciating little things that happened (like how well Eden read Hebrew or the beauty of the deer I saw on Arastradero Road), the general tenor of my day remained the same: off.
So I really hoped that I would get up feeling better this morning, more grateful, more appreciative, happier. I was quite disappointed when I woke up still feeling like I wanted to run away. The desire to flee only intensified when I checked my email and discovered another rejection letter. Reading it, I found my doubts returning: is my book good enough? Perhaps the agents know something I refuse to acknowledge: that kids are less interested in fairy tales nowadays. The weight of doom hang over my shoulders, and I knew if I ever wanted to fly again, I need to move, far and fast.
This is where having a personal trainer can really come in handy. Janie took one look at me and said, “let’s run!”
Instead of running away we run to the Baylands. The sky stretched blue overhead, worry-free and open. A single egret stood with its back to us, resting within the tall grasses. Ducks floated in the quiet water of the bay. I let my mind rest on the line of the horizon, allowing the movements of my legs to become all of me, step, step, step, step. Deep inside I felt faith return. I am a novelist. This is who I am. There are many stories growing inside of me, complex, worthy of being told. Their boundaries are far beyond the limits of my body, my computer, my typing hands. These characters already exist, waiting not to be released but to be given a voice, a page to explore.
I am a novelist.
I have a long to-do list for today. First on it was this blog, but after it come other chores, less pleasant: make doctor appointments, answer emails, prep some stuff, cook food. But today, because I’m inspired by the beauty within and without, I am going to start by writing. Not just this blog, but my long-term stuff. I am a novelist. I have to write.