Friday, March 16, 2012

The unexplainable.

If I've been quiet for awhile, there are probably two causes for it.

One, I ambitiously applied for a real critique group to try and whip my novel manuscript in to some semblance of shape. I was kindly rejected. Of course, I retreated into inaction to lick my wounds rather than pushing forward with my long-neglected manuscript. Sigh.

Two, a few weeks ago I discovered that a good friend of mine, my senior-year college roommate, is losing her years-long battle with cancer and is now in hospice care. I got a further update this morning that she hardly has the strength to fully open her eyes or speak.

This once-vibrant young woman, now on death's door, is my age. Actually, younger.

What excuse do I have for frittering away my time instead of writing?

What reason could possibly be good enough to condone allowing myself to be distracted by silly stuff while my children grow up before my eyes?

If my life ended tomorrow, would I have a legacy to leave behind?

If any good can come from such a heartbreaking end, it has to be the people she loved living their lives more intentionally. I have already been trying to do this by being more present with my boys. I'd like to build on that by really focusing on working on my writing. So many writers lived only brief lives, yet they still have more to say to future generations through their works. I hope, even in a small way, to enrich others' lives through my own work. 

With any luck, the world won't have heard the last of me when I breathe my last. My work will speak for me.

What do you hope to leave as your legacy?


paige said...

wow. Those are some big thoughts. No wonder you've been quiet.
(& i still think it's their loss for not asking you to join the critique group :)
My legacy? i want my children to remember a woman who wasn't afraid to challenge the status quo - who lived what she believed - no matter the cost, who loved deeply and stubbornly.

Anonymous said... "legacy"? Good question, and not one I've given any thought to, except inasmuch as Son (and any subsequent descendants) may be counted as a "legacy", both biologically and in the portion of his mind-set that he got from me either directly or reactively.

Come to think of it, there's also "legacy" in other people I've interacted with, in much the same way.

As for things that are specifically mine, not articulated by other people, that's a toughy. A body of really bad puns? A whole slew of D&D and other RPG stories (both as a DM and as a player)? A number of painted boxes and miscellaneous artsy/crafsty knick-knacks? The Deathless Literature what my haikus are?

In any case, I won't be around to evaluate the effect, if any, of my "legacy", so I just worry about living as best I can, helping others where I can, and at least not leaving a legendary swath of destruction (physically or emotionally) in my wake. The Future, and my "legacy", are on their own.


Minerva said...

Thanks, Paige. I have no doubt that your children have an excellent role model in you, and that their lives will be a testament to your love and strength.

Cicely, I'm sure your son will be an excellent legacy. I'm also sure that you're selling yourself way too short. I have a feeling there's more to you than the puns and haiku you share here, and a large part of that will be a positive impact on the world--especially with the philosophy you've outlined here. Not that puns and haiku aren't an important contribution! Everyone needs some humor and wordplay in their lives.

Anonymous said...

*bowing dramatically*

You are so very kind, Minerva, but I assure you, I Utterly Without Substance and Void.

No, really. I've looked


Anonymous said...


And here's a prosthetic "am" to insert in the obvious place.


Anonymous said...

Aaaaand, in a more cheerful frame of mind:

Spring's fresh new green leaves
Turn their faces to the sun.