Bug Crawling

Suppose writing is like bug crawling.

You pick a window in the sun, an expanse that captures a breath of your life-sized dream. And the passion is to make it across that window as fast as you can because it’s a good dream, and you have hopes to share it with people who have helped change your life for the better. You are determined to do good. To improve the lot of your friend. To aid a cause that is bigger than any doubt or hatred or false word.

So you set out. And your plan is to horde time because that is the only way the dream is going to get done. It’s the only way to get to the end. That window is long and warm and smooth, untouched by everything but wind and sun, and it is waiting for you.

You set out and the going is good except for one thing. Your little limbs just can’t go fast enough. You can’t get there in time. You’ll never get there as you want to, in the time that is appropriate. Your little limbs are thin and frail in the wind that blows you backward.

The truth is, you’ll never succeed by sundown. Or by sunup. In fact you won’t succeed at all. Not in your time. You were born a bug, and you were never meant for the immediate motherlode, for speeding through life to get through to the end of your dream.

You were meant for a slow journey with each delicate limb sensing and testing the ground before you. You were meant for careful thought, delayed reaction, vulnerability. Your dream is meant for something after, something the others can build on, which you sense only from a distance, traversed only in postmortems; or in your case, post-squishems.

Writing is a long journey in patience. There is joy along the way, at the moment your limb tests the window. You will never feel it anywhere else.

Better to slow down, soak in the warmth, and let go of the hurry. Your writing is content to crawl about, slowly if at all, measured not by success, but in terms of the brave second step in the middle of a satisfying day. For at the right moment, when the moment is right, your little hope will catch wind. Like you never thought it could.

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