Friday, January 6, 2012

“Close Enough”

         Writing sometimes surprises me. I’ll stumble upon a topic one day, mull it over for a few hours or a few days; and when I finally get the words out onto the page, delight fills me. I celebrate when the right phrase paints the picture that’s in my mind. I mentally pat myself on my back and do a victory lap whenever the spirit of a poem holds true from beginning to ending. Occasionally, I’ll revisit an older piece of prose, or a poem written long ago, and feel satisfaction that this creation grew from within me.
         Then comes a block. The curser keeps its metronome beat. It pulses in recrimination because I’ve summoned it to the page and left it hanging. The swirling, whirling words within me can’t find form or substance. An emotion vaporizes before I can make it solid. A thought teases me in a seductive lap dance then leaves me wanting. (That would work better  if I were a man!)
         Frustration, hesitation and perspiration often accompany the writer into the creative process. So when the sunlight contrasting with shadow plays across my vision, I long to create just the right description. I hunger for perfection as I grope for each phrase. My goal, however, to produce writing almost daily means I accept the concept of “close enough.” I embrace that as I learn my craft and fine tune my abilities; discrepancies will abound between that unflawed poem and my final draft.
         The art of writing teaches important lessons. I’ve learned to welcome imperfections in other aspects of my life. Each day, in essence, is a rough draft. As I fill the pages of my life, I don’t mind false starts, revisions or rewrites. I’m even happy when sometimes I don’t—quite—get—it—right. Close enough, but not perfect.  


 Copyright 2012 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

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