find the horizon

key largo

Sometimes you just need to push back from the desk, go for a walk, and find some horizon to study.

I’m on a writing retreat right now. Not there in that photograph from Key Largo. I’m not sure I could write in a place like that. There’s not much that soothes me more than staring at the ocean, listening to the waves arrive at the shore. It is one of the very best things for my soul. But it’s not conducive to keeping my head down and banging out words on the keyboard.

Ed’s out of town. I’m taking the time to put nothing else on my schedule and only focus on this novel that’s been in my head since April 2010. These characters, this story – it’s been alternately whispering and yelling in my head since then. It has taken up residence. I’ve talked out plot ideas with Ed and Kristina. I’ve written pages and pages of ideas/questions/conversations in my journals.

Collecting all these bits and pieces together over the last couple of days, typing them out so they are in a searchable, portable format – I’ve gone through a lot of Moleskines in the last four years – I’ve discovered something. I have a lot more material than I realised.

And it’s good. By that I mean, I love it.

Whether anyone else ever thinks it’s good, or even gets to read it – those are questions for another time, another stage. Right now, this story is compelling me to continue.

In a recent interview, Pharrell Williams was asked about being afraid of failure. He had this to say.

When you love something, what are you scared of?

Indeed.

Enough of a break. Fear has paralyzed me long enough. Time to bring this story to life.

3 Comments

  • “Southern Cross”

    [Intro. (Acoustic Guitars)]
    Oooh …

    Got out of town on a boat goin’ to Southern islands
    Sailing a reach before a followin’ sea
    She was makin’ for the trades on the outside
    And the downhill run to Papeete

    Off the wind on this heading lie the Marquesas
    We got eighty feet of the waterline nicely making way
    In a noisy bar in Avalon I tried to call you
    But on a midnight watch I realized why twice you ran away

    Think about
    Think about how many times I have fallen
    Spirits are using me larger voices callin’
    What Heaven brought you and me cannot be forgotten

    (Around the world) I have been around the world
    (Lookin’) Lookin’ for that woman girl
    (Who knows she knows) Who knows love can endure
    And you know it will

    When you see the Southern Cross for the first time
    You understand now why you came this way
    ‘Cause the truth you might be runnin’ from is so small
    But it’s as big as the promise, the promise of a comin’ day

    So I’m sailing for tomorrow my dreams are a dyin’
    And my love is an anchor tied to you tied with a silver chain
    I have my ship and all her flags are a’ flyin’
    She is all that I have left and music is her name

    Think about
    Think about how many times I have fallen
    Spirits are using me larger voices callin’
    What Heaven brought you and me cannot be forgotten

    (I’ve been around the world) I have been around the world
    (Lookin’) Lookin’ for that woman girl
    Who knows love can endure
    And you know it will, and you know it will yes

    [Instrumental (Electric Guitars)]
    Oooh …

    So we cheated and we lied and we tested
    And we never failed to fail it was the easiest thing to do
    You will survive being bested
    Somebody fine will come along make me forget about loving you
    At the southern cross

    [Ending (Acoustic Guitars)]

    • Ah, Paul. So nice to see you here. Thank you for sharing Neil’s poetry. It’s just right.

      Do you know that he has a sailboat and has made ocean voyages to the Hawaiian islands and beyond? I wonder which came first – the voyage to spot the constellation or the song to dream the voyage? And I wonder if he still sails.

      I first saw the Southern Cross from the deck of a sailboat in the Pacific. This song ran through my head the whole time. I was runnin’ from a truth indeed. It caught up with me eventually, and I listened. Those nights of wall-to-wall stars? The vision haunts me still, in the best way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

link to your last blog post with a check here