This weekend I’ve been busy trying to put some “order” into my life.  I think it’s partly seasonal–locating and unpacking the cold weather gear–but this year my effort is more radical than usual.

Since I decided to leave academia for good after completing a one-year teaching appointment at the University of Minnesota last academic year, I worked at a local golf course in order to pay my bills and play some golf.  But as I tired of the customer service lifestyle there, I realized I could not continue to put off what I have been talking about doing for some time: making a career of writing.

Both academia and any other work were distractions because focus tended to be on matters (including teaching which I have always had a love-hate relationship with) other than writing. So a few weeks ago I finally said, “Enough!” I quit my golf course job and started preparing to write.

Since then I have been focused on developing this site and am in the process of looking for writing gigs to help me maintain my focus and practice my writing in a more rigorous, steady fashion.

So when I say that I have been “ordering” my life, I am quite serious.  I have been organizing everything in my living spaces to support my writing.  I want to know where everything is so that when I want or need something it will be readily accessible. This will help me keep my focus and clarity of thought.  I believe and hope my writing will improve over these first few halting attempts to express myself after years of not writing nor wanting to write.

While I was cleaning closets, unpacking and repacking and tossing boxes, and deciding what to keep and throw out, I caught the movie “Good Will Hunting” starring Robin Williams and Matt Damon in progress.  No matter that I didn’t watch it from the start because I’ve seen it many times before, often like today, in progress, on a Sunday.

It reminds me in it’s sappy heroic way, the way many of Damon’s starring roles do for me, that one must follow the heart’s desires.  And that means opening oneself up to other people, opportunities, and challenges.  The path is not perfect nor always pristine or beautiful, it’s the farts in a loved one’s sleep (as Williams’ character recounts about his deceased wife) that are full of enduring meaning as one moves along life’s path, or, as I like to think of it, as one is taken by the river.

I remember that when I am fly fishing on a stream.  To be at peace, to find fulfillment whether or not I catch any fish, I must pay attention to the river.  Not only for my safety, if the water is running strong and swift, but to assess where the fish might be holding.

But I have not been as passionate about writing and its possibilities in my life as I have been about fly fishing, for being in the “real” stream.  I believe and feel that now is my time to enter the stream that is “writing,” to open myself fully to the possibilities and challenges that await me there.

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