Wednesday, January 1, 2020

A Single Flower: A Vision for the New Year

He thought that in the beauty of the world were hid a secret. He thought that the world’s heart beat at some terrible cost and that the world’s pain and its beauty moved in a relationship of diverging equity and that in this headlong deficit the blood of multitudes might ultimately be exacted for the vision of a single flower.

Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses

Hindsight is 2020, but 2020 is the here and now, and as I ponder my own vision for this new year, I’m unsurprised that a McCarthy quote effervesces to mind. He’s my go-to, a scribe of such surpassing grit, eloquence and vision himself, that I emerge, unfailingly, inspired to write—more and better—after reading anything of his.

2019 was eventful, personally and professionally. A new job, turned 50, a health scare, and my novel was at long last republished. Time plays large in the David Rose series, and it’s hard not to ruminate on it now, with numbers such as 2020 and 50, lurking about. I was scouring some writing contests today, and one was entitled, Old Writers Contest. Don’t say 50, I thought, don’t say 50(though part of me secretly was ok with the notion, inasmuch as I wanted to submit to the contest). Sure enough, 50. Doh! 50 = old, at least as writers go, apparently. Ah well, I’ve always felt old. (They say—whoever they are—it’s not how old you are, but how old you which I now reply: that’s not helping.) 

Alas, most writers are old souls, anyway, I think. Romantics, in our way, even if that’s not our chosen genre(most assuredly not mine—not that there’s anything wrong with that). But even purveyors of the rawest, grittiest prose—McCarthy could be considered among them—have their song to song, their verse to contribute, and want to—perhaps  need to—be read, and be heard. That what they feel, what they think, and the characters and tales who manifest it, might for the reader come alive upon the page, and evoke even a modicum of thought and feeling in turn.

As we turn the page into a new year, I am, like so many of us, setting goals, and making plans. But no matter the goals, the plans, the lists, the numbers, it tends to always come back to that vision of which McCarthy wrote. When all’s said and done, it’s all that I hope for, what most, if not all writers hope for, I’d wager. That through the pain and the beauty, the blood, sweat and tears, the maddening writers’ block and intoxicating moments of epiphany, we might in the end, exact the vision of a single flower(or whatever that vision looks like for you).

May your writing and your vision and your dreams bloom as you desire in this year ahead.

Happy New Year, and thanks as always, for your support.

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