Thursday, April 3, 2008

Blue Lagoon

I have twice seen a blue heron in Ragtag Lake--the bit of wildness I visit on my lunchtime walks. Parts of the lake at that end are very shallow, allowing Mr. Heron to walk about in the water looking for lunch. I feel rather sorry for him, thinking he should be in a more lush environment, like the Eastern Shore of Maryland or Virginia, areas which have lots of tourists but also enormous beauty. I do not know, though, if he is as concerned with the gorgeousness of his setting as is the human who watches him.

I think a fear for any writer is the loss of lushness--that spring and muscle and beauty of language that comes when one is writing at full power and strength. Energy, after all, ebbs and flows. Life-events happen, as does aging, which is ongoing even when you are young. So when the right words are right there, leaping onto the page or screen, the thrill has no comparison. But when the words are nothing but dry sticks you can't even rub together--that is excruciatingly painful.

Maybe the thing is to always be, like Mr. Heron, on the lookout for for a fresh pond or lake or river or ocean or bay or creek in which to stick your feet. A dip in the water--daring to dip--is exciting and dangerous. Afterall, who knows what you will step on? But it is so very necessary for survival.

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