I'm hovering. In my novel progress, not in the room. It's not because of writer's block or anything that romantic. It's because I have an emotional scene to write next, and I couldn't get the right emotion to well up for inspiration. Until today.
I believe in serendipity. I believe in doors opening at the right time, people coming into your life when there is something to be gained or lost, lessons given freely if we would only sit still and open our eyes and our minds. This is the faith by which I write.
If I am stuck, If I am drowning, if I am in need of a direction, I sit still, I wait, I watch...I hover. Always, without fail, I am eventually shown something, taught something, given something that is exactly what I need. Maybe this is true in every aspect of life. I have experienced this only with my writing, but who knows...
Anyway, the scene I was stalled at was one where my main character has to let go of a girl that has become like a daughter to her. My problem here was goodbye has never been hard for me. I don't look back, I don't mourn the past...in fact I thrive on change. Or so, I thought. One thing about children is they will show you exactly how wrong you are about yourself.
This is the lesson I learned today, this is the lesson that has given me the exact emotional response I need to go forward with my next scene. Today I went with my daughter to our first college tour. Not exactly a lesson in letting go, right? That's what I thought.
The tour was great--beautiful campus, exciting prospect. The future was wide open, bright and smiling on us. When the tour was over, she went to eat lunch with a friend instead of riding home with me. Here's the serendipity part.
I'm sitting at the traffic light to go straight and her and her friend pass me and make a left at the light. Before they make the turn, her arm emerges from the passenger window and she waves. A small gesture. A familiar arm, a hand I have bathed, and held and watched grow into a younger version of my own. But it wasn't just a "see you later" wave. It was a moment in slow motion, a glimpse at the reality of letting go. It was a message as clear as if she had whispered it in my ear.
"Yes, Mom, I am a separate person. I am my own being, with my own destiny which will be different from yours, but in my grace I am acknowledging you and the fact that I am leaving you behind."
So, in that one surreal, stripped down moment, I have been given my emotional response. I have experienced the pain and beauty which exists in the moment of a child's goodbye.
I have found the broken heart and hope from which my main character will now experience the next part of her journey.
198,000 words. Am I dead from the get-go?
11 hours ago