Lessons to Myself.

Stop stressing.
I tell this to myself while sitting on a bench.
Just breathe.
And Look.

I look ahead and see a statue,
White stone, a pedestal
a general, giant
chain-linked fence
and tourist snapping pictures
I think about that story I was going to work on,
about a racist redneck who lived in a
small town with a confederate memorial
and thought it was normal
until, I dunno…. something happens,
and he does something,
and something else happens,
and he changes his mind.

There’s so many stories everywhere that I was going to work on,
and sometimes, when I stop and remind myself to pay attention,
I find more.

Stress is a choice. Do not give into it.
Lately I’ve been rushing, I’ve been running from place to place, appointment to appointment.
I can handle this. Everything that I’m working towards is good,
but it takes time,
and patience.

I’m stressing about things I’m doing and I’m stressing about things I should be doing. I am frozen by fear. Like a deer in the headlights. I am darting from place to place like a scared little rabbit. I’m not even looking where I’m going.
Driving here and there and not remembering how I got there and what was in-between.
“What’s the hurry?” I write in my notebook.

Isn’t that what I’m supposed to be doing?
Paying attention?
Isn’t that the Call?

“As writers we live life twice, like a cow that eats its food once and then regurgitates it to chew and digest it again. We have a second chance at biting into our experience and examining it. …This is our life and it’s not going to last forever. There isn’t time to talk about someday writing that short story or poem or novel. Slow down now, touch what is around you, and out of care and compassion for each moment and detail, put pen to paper and begin to write.”
Natalie Goldberg

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