Handprints

There are actual muddy handprints on the window in my office right now. My office is also our sitting room, where the record player is, where the bookshelves are. I counted them. There are seven muddy hand prints all in a row. They are courtesy of Ford Young.

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Last August, I finally sat down to write out my story. My life. I have no idea where this will lead and maybe it will lead nowhere, just that maybe one day I will have my story all written down. And that way the details will not be lost to the years that go by. But I’ll never get there if I can’t get past the muddy handprints.

I wrote my first “public” piece on fighting the resistance (see the book “The Art of War”) and lately I’ve 100% given myself over to letting everything else win. The handprints. The dishes. The laundry. The floors. The quest for perfection.

In The Art of War, Steven Pressfield talks about a time when he was also not doing his craft, which happens to also be writing. He talked about how the dishes piled up in his house, he felt depressed, moody, worthless. And then one day he sat down and wrote. After years of not writing, years of telling himself he was not good enough to even sit down and try, he sat down and wrote. And the next day he cleaned up the dishes. He went for a walk. It was as if an actual cloud had lifted. He was doing what he was meant to be doing. And therefore was a better version of himself. (Doesn’t matter that what he actually wrote was garbage which he eventually threw in the trash, that is beside the point.)

Well, I don’t know exactly what it is I’m supposed to be doing. When Ford gets home from school today, which is in exactly 34 minutes, he will be cleaning off those muddy handprints. And the mud he smeared all over our porch columns. Plus, we should work on sight words and he has 12 names to write on Valentines for his class tomorrow. All of this will be a struggle. Like pulling teeth. I will have to help him to make all of these things happen. And then I have Mabry’s Valentine’s to do as well. And yall, I have help! My mother-in-law bought their actual Valentine’s cards for them, all we have to do is fill them out. I am attaching a Hershey’s kiss to Mabry’s Minnie valentines cards and no more. That’s all you get from me, peeps. No special craft, not hot glue, no glitter, nothing handmade. And still! It takes up my time and there is nothing I can do about it.

Except I always feel this pull. Back to my desk, back to my computer, back to it. It seems so simple. Just sit down and do it Megan, just sit down and do it.

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