Sunday, April 15, 2012

Climbing … Trying to Get Home

Today [Saturday, 14 April 2012] was a bright, sunshiny day, a little windy, and when I made it out for a run just before noon, it was 14°C. Lately, I haven’t been running as regularly as I would like, but completing a 7.5 km (4.6 mi) run today offered a great lift to my day. Running, for me, is like yoga to others. It is a time of meditation where I am able to block out the world, quiet my mind —attain a sort of perfect peace. It is usually when I am running that I can see the way forward through a problem or situation that has arisen. Running, I stumble upon the next right thing to do.

As I was mounting the hill leading back to my apartment this morning, I found myself thinking about a trip I had made to Quebec City just before Christmas. It had been a few years since my last visit, but it didn’t take long, roaming around the city on foot, to remind me that Quebec City is a city of hills. Moving between the upper part of the city housing the majestic Chateau Frontenac and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ) and the Basse-Ville, home to the Vieux Port, was a challenge. And by the end of the afternoon when I returned to my hotel room, I was exhausted. But there was something about walking about a city that was both foreign and familiar that calmed, cleared the mind — helped me, in any case, to get at the core of things.

Taking in the exhibition of Jean-Paul Riopelle’s works at the MNBAQ, I was reminded that I was (and still am) in a unique place. I am in a position to chase after my dreams, to not let myself be discouraged. There are no ties that bind me to where I currently reside (Sherbrooke, Québec), nothing holding me here like the nails that held Christ to the cross. I am free to do as I please, to remain in Sherbrooke and flourish where I am planted, or to pull up stakes and go somewhere new, “start all over again.” Back in December, I felt more like I wanted to flee, but since then I have decided to stay in Sherbrooke and blossom, here, where I am planted.

Despite that decision to stay, I still feel, in a way, “caught” — like my wheels are spinning, like I’m going nowhere fast. It’s a difficult feeling to manage, to get past. In the meantime, I’m trying to do the little things to keep moving forward: writing daily, putting in time at the piano and in my studio. Sometimes, like today, I feel as though nothing is moving forward — not my writing, not my music, not my painting. I’m stationary, immobile, inert. I repeat, “Easy Does It,” but it is hardly comforting this time around. I want to once again be wrapped up in the flow of life where I’m moving along swimmingly, feeling each project coming smoothly into itself.

I need to take the long view. I need to remind myself that each time that I show up at my computer and write, my novel is moving forward. Freestyle Love wasn’t written in a day so why would I expect that the current novel I’m writing would be any different? I am trying to take it one day at a time, to not let myself be derailed again. Perhaps, when I am honest with myself, I just need to let myself rest, which is not something that I easily do. I have said it before, and I will say it again: Today, I will do my best to just keep on keeping on.

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