I have been living beyond my means, again, which means a lull in life, writing becalmed. I’m shipwrecked, dogged daily by whether to stay with the ship, relive the storm that has passed, or let it go.
I know that life is one experience after another, including shipwrecks. When aground, why not explore where I am rather than reliving the wreck. I get that now, at almost 66. “It’s not a thing” unless I make it one.
I cannot claim this brilliance as my own. This sliver of light belongs to a trusted friend, cheerful in all weathers, especially during my storms. She’s my lighthouse.
I set to salvage operations.
Most of my writing is beyond saving, easily recycled. Momentarily, I anguish over the gap between blog posts, once an ego favorite for shaming. I made it “a thing” for years.
What seems salvageable are pieces of a pirate story, although grounded in place rather than plot–as always–as well, a pitch for a resistance essay that is all thought and not yet a word.
Neither is yet a place on a map still to be drawn.
I’m fascinated at the idea of writing a pirate story, which does not mean it will end up being a pirate story. I am not good at writing fiction. I know that. For years, every time I failed it became “a thing,” a true tempest. Shipwreck after shipwreck.
And then it wasn’t “a thing” anymore. I stopped reliving the storm and discovered that my elaborate exploration of setting was its own story, and the map began to reveal its treasures.
Not all my expeditions take place on the screen. Sometimes, I visit actual lands, like Spanish Hole, where some 500 years ago at least one exploration for gold turned into a quest for survival.
Familiar story, if not exactly about pirates, but who has not sought one treasure only to find another? Is that a pirate story?
Where the St. Marks River flows into the Gulf of Mexico is Spanish Hole, its secrets intact. And that is its own kind of treasure, too. Like writing a pirate story. Who knows what it may not reveal.
As I was writing this post my dad sent me photos, as he often does. This one is from his cabin on Treasure Island. And I realized, I had set sail.
It is not as if a life lens comes with a ready-made life. It’s just a lens.
Thanks, Leonard Huber, for the view. ❤