I have this picture in my head, like a dream. I am sitting on a cozy chair in the corner of an enormous room, flipping through a dog-eared copy of Cry the Beloved Country. I set down the book on the side table next to me and take a sip of coffee. Then I pick up my laptop and check my email. Then I scribble a few words down in an old spiral ring notebook. I appear to be doing some serious thinking and writing.
But who am I kidding? I’m just waiting. I look up in a moment of self-honesty at the desk across the room (way way across, like miles away, like looking through binoculars backwards). There sits a large imposing figure with his back to me. He is so busy, so full of purpose, so directed by meaningful activity, so much more important than my delusional scribblings.
“He” is the World. Who knew the World had such a large back. Who knew the World was so purposeful.
Me in my thinking chair, waiting (always waiting) for the world to turn around and notice my futile attempts to entertain, to please, to challenge (but always in a pleasing way: “Please, World, please turn around and look my way, notice my attempts”).
Such is the way of the writer, the soap box stander, the performer, the artist. Always watching the back of the World, living for that moment when he will turn around and smile….and the sun will shine again. The writer is an expert at noticing the breath at the World’s shoulder blade, that subtle movement that means he is about to take a break from his important work and listen. Oh, yes, maybe now he will listen, pay attention, to me. This is my moment to speak – to launch my words into the space between me and the World.
And then I wake up, the vision is over.
Honestly, I don’t know if this is the way of all writers, all performers. I only can say how it is for me. And, true enough, it may betray an enormous immaturity and insecurity to admit this need to be noticed. Perhaps I should focus on writing for the meaning, the importance of the words themselves. For the ART. Granted.
And really, most of the time, I don’t mind waiting. It goes with the territory.
Still, wouldn’t it be nice if the World one time waited for me, as I sit with purpose at my important desk writing meaningful things. Wouldn’t that be nice, to have the World wait for me.