{jump on it}

Blair Drummond 125

You know, it’s a funny thing how many of my friends and peers have had recent good news. Last weekend my writing partner got her black belt in Taekwondo. My poetry sister Liz was nominated awhile back for the 2010 PEN USA Literary Award and her book All the World was honored as a finalist. Blogging buddy Karen, who is hosting Poetry Friday this week, was jazzed to note her new book’s birthday this past week. An expat writer friend, Liz Gatland, whom y’all might know her by her maiden name, which is Elizabeth Wein – has just sold a book to a British publisher after living here for ages. Code Name Verity is a fabulous name for a WWII epic involving women flyers. Can’t wait for that one in the Spring of 2012. Just yesterday, a writing partner floated her first novel to an agent – and the agent is excited about this deliciously involved fantasy-mystery. I am jonesing for the rest of the world to read it.

So much good news. And I always think to myself that none of it would have come about without some nail-biting, some stomach churning, and the taking of some risks. Author (and former classmate) Tara Austen Weaver (The Butcher and the Vegetarian) blogged recently about how many things she missed out on because she didn’t sign up, didn’t think she’d win so didn’t try. She makes some good points about risking for gain – and about what a difference it makes in your life to actually get out and toss your hat into the ring. Writing can seem weirdly competitive – full of contests and deadlines and other people wishing they had your opportunities — but the truth is, the opportunities are the same. It’s just what we do with them that makes a difference. And for Elizabeth, Karen, Liz, Yat Yee and Anne, the difference was that they shouldered their fears to the wall and pushed past.

So, thinking of them brought this poem to mind. Here’s to living without hesitation, writers.

Against Hesitations

If you stare at it long enough

the mountain becomes unclimbable.

Tally it up. How much time have you spent

waiting for the soup to cool?

Icicles hang from January gutters

only as long as they can. Fingers pause

above piano keys for the chord

that will not form. Slam them down

I say. Make music of what you can.

~ Charles Rafferty

The Man on the Tower and Where the Glories of April Lead are two poetry collections by this author you should check out. Poetry Friday is at Karen Edmisten’s Shockingly Named Blog.

Blair Drummond 126

Carpe Diem. Now.

9 Replies to “{jump on it}”

    1. She lives an hour away by train in Perth, which is a gorgeous, gorgeous little village… and the very first time we met, she dragged me away and drove me over hills and valleys and dragged me to a salmon spawning stream… and then tried to drown me.

      True story.

  1. I absolutely love this poem. Thanks, Tanita. I was going to pick out my favorite lines, but they ended up including the whole thing.

    And thanks for sharing in the latest jazz. 🙂

  2. I’ve stared at enough mountains to know that the first line is indeed true. Slamming fingers on the piano keys isn’t usually what I recommend to my students, but yes, go ahead and make the music already!

    Thanks for sharing my good news!

  3. Thanks for sharing good news and encouragement, Tanita. No risk, no gain, for sure. Now, I’m about to see where I can go jump next. There will always be fear. As you said, we just have to keep pushing through it.

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