Wednesday, August 01, 2012

How It Begins: The Time to See

by Zinta Aistars

At last, the long awaited day arrives. August 1 is my first full day of Z Word, of throwing myself fully into establishing and growing my writing and editing services. I have long dreamed of living as a freelance writer and editor, devoting myself fully to writing, writing, writing, whether on journalism and other assignments, or simply taking the time for some creative writing of my own.

How long since I have actually had the time to sit down in the morning with my cup of coffee and work on a short story, or a poem, or, egads, that long neglected novel? I ache at that answer ...

But I ache no longer, if only with joy. I felt it already last night, after returning home to Z Acres, my home and now headquarters for Z Word, for the last time from a corporate office, a place of offices and cubes and desks and telephones and computers, and a great many people doing a great many things to make a global business run ...

I came home.

Home. This wondrous 10-acre oasis where I moved but four months ago, yet already have felt what a difference it has made in who I am, how I live, and how I intend to live. To at long last have a Home that is permanent, where I can let my roots take deep hold, has led me to make more leaps of faith to follow my bliss, now that I have this solid ground beneath me. Now that I know where I belong.

Every evening when I came home, or even on those days when I worked from home, I took time to walk out to the back of my property where the sky opens across acres of fields, and watched the sun set. It kept me grounded, looking at that sky.

Rarely did I have time to see the morning light in the same way. Tasks called.

And surely they will now, too. They already do. I am cheered to see that my to-do list is already long, awaiting items to be checked off, first deadlines met, interviews scheduled, connections made.

But I have time. Time, and I must have time. Time to see. In a recent interview that aired on WMUK 102.1 FM radio, Kalamazoo, Michigan's NPR affiliate, I talked to author Michael Delp about writing. Mike said something that stuck with me, that I have always known yet forgotten, pushed aside, in the rush of the corporate day: a writer must first see.

Good writing comes alive in the details, and a writer must be able to transpose those details from life to the written page so that the reader, too, may see.

I go outside on this morning - to see.

Morning light has a very different quality from evening light. Instead of brewing my morning coffee in the automatic coffee maker, I boil water and use my French press to make my first mug ... because I have the time. I sip and watch the light stream through the windows. I must go out to see it, be in it, feel it rise.

To see ... how the rays of morning sun swirl in dust across the pond, spread across the newly mown grass in ever wider streaks of gold, melt like butter across the lily pads and puddle in their green palms. I follow a path in the woods, led by that slant of dusty gold light.

And there, I feel it, that change inside me. The release of long held work stress, like an opening fist, unfolding to release breath, heartbeat, spirit. I can breathe again. I can feel the joy again ... that joy I felt when I first moved to Z Acres in March, seeing with childlike wonder everything, everything.

Was I already losing it? Only in this moment do I realize: I was. And it's not that I didn't appreciate the job I had -- oh, I did, and I do, because it made this dream possible! Without that opportunity, I would still be slogging away. No, all is as it should be, and all has happened precisely in the order of how it was meant to be, one step after another, one building block set upon another, puzzle pieces fallling together.

It began when I first stood on this property in March, in a very similar slant of light coming through the trees, and offered myself up in complete submission. Let go, let God, and I let go, and the net appeared as I leapt, and all is now coming to fruition. It would not have happened, I'm sure of it, if I hadn't let go first.

I paid my dues, I put in my time, even a lifetime of work, building networks and connections and a portfolio, to reach this place of take-off. Here I am, now, standing in the mists of a rising sun, seeing the wonder of this world and feeling its embrace and its welcome.

I have earned this morning, and now I accept its blessing, ready to work again. This time for myself, not the easiest task master, perhaps even the toughest I have known ... but I'm ready.

(To follow my journey with Z Word, join me on the Z Word page on Facebook.)

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