Friday, August 1, 2008

Analysis of "Punching Signs"

I had an experience with a very mysterious and punchy stranger, one who moved and revolted me, at once. I'd intentionally set out riverward to find a subject to write from, on my walk, because my earlier excursions there had led to my gold standard, "Pushing the River." He happened along, punching the River Walk sign (see the past two posts for clarity). Perhaps I wouldn't've been so curious, had I already a story for publication? But I was ravenous for one, and intentionally set, so thank God, it happened.

Over a week, the story unfolded to me. But, I must be honest, for every day of that week, I thought the piece was done and sent it on to my editors, unprofessionally. Now, I feel so foolish for bothering them with my undone stuff, but, at the time, each time, I felt "done," finished, ready to start another. But, NO!

It took my getting to focus with that particular experience--such a long time coming--and it did not happen to me until I remembered the sight of the river beribonned in blue and red to the west for at least half a mile. Zonk! Focus. The yin and the yang, together as one in the river, and me standing over the confluence, observing, right in the flow in the middle. Bonk. How long it takes for me to get it! I flow, midstream, now, "free in the current that pushes the rivers to mingle."

It came together, then, in a way that allowed me to edit the piece from that wondrous metaphor, and to wonder at how long it had taken me to get it before. That One Angry Guy and I, flowing in the river together. I've decided he was an "angel in disguise," just for me. I'd been processing earlier the shift from being angry about the state of the poor in Nicaragua in my writing to being grateful for all my experiences, and Mr. "Angry Guy" showed up. modeling exactly what I did not want to become myself, then disappeared. How strange?! How wonderful, for me. What I've learned! It would probably have happened anyway, but dealing with it in writing has pushed the river.

Gracias, CenterDoug

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