Wednesday, December 19, 2012

...About Bravery.

I am probably the most easily terrified person on Earth and usually by things that other, ordinary people don't think twice about.  Allow me to give an example.  Tomorrow afternoon, I need to stop by a newspaper office to drop off an invoice and sign a stringer agreement.  This will probably take five minutes or less, no big deal, right?

Wrong, wrong, utterly wrong!

I have been worrying about this moment for about two and a half weeks.  I think irrational anxieties like this stem from my fear of looking ridiculous or from the countless number of awkward situations I've encountered in my life.

But alas, I must be brave.  And this realization has led me to think of other women, real and fictional, who have been forced to be brave over time.

First and foremost, I think of Anne Boleyn facing the executionor's sword in 1536 and Joan of Arc facing the burning pyre in 1431.  I know my own ordeal is nothing compared to people who have faced execution and it is ridiculous to even compare it to such events, but facing your death knowingly and with dignity is one of the deepest examples of bravery, isn't it?

I think of Harriet Tubman saving herself and others from slavery, via the Underground Railroad and the guidance of the North Star.  I think of Rosa Parks making a difference by refusing to give up her seat on the bus.  I think of Eleanor Roosevelt remaining courageous and becoming so successful, even after her marriage fell apart.   I think of Jackie Kennedy moving on and facing life, right after her husband was shot to death right in front of her, his blood splattering her light pink suit.

I imagine Arwen Undómiel protecting Frodo Baggins, riding hard from the Black Riders until forced to face them and defeat them.  I imagine Dorothy on the winding yellow brick road, confronting new dangers and standing up to the Wizard.   I see Belle's enormous sacrifice, choosing to stay with the Beast to save her father.  I see Elizabeth Bennett confronting Mr. Darcy.  I envision Wonder Woman battling enemies and saving the day.  And Rosie the Riveter empowering others.

And of course, I think of the women of the suffrage movement, the nurses of World War I and World War II, and the bravery of those serving in the U.S Military today.

That being said, I think I will survive entering the unknown territory that is the newspaper office.  I think life will go on.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

...My Imagination Is A Forest.

I'm not usually one for mysterious metaphors, but in this case, I think it's appropriate.  It seems only fitting to begin my blog, which is entitled "Into The Proverbial Forest of Imagination," with this completley random fact: I love forests.

I mean, I'm no nature fanatic.  I've never saved the forests, I don't spend hours meditating on tree stumps, and I certainly don't hunt or chop logs.  I could not tell you the difference between a red maple and a yellow maple.  I think insects are creepy.

But when I hear a bird sing, I stop and listen.  I notice when the leaves change and I often wonder where the forest in my backyard leads to.  I feel a connection to history when I walk into any woods.  And I've been known to hug the occasional tree back in my day.

Standing at the edge of a forest before venturing in and discovering all sorts of wild things reminds me of imagination, or at least, my imagination.  To discover new and interesting information or to concoct an interesting tale, you first have to stand at the edge of your mind before venturing into your forest of imagination.

And when you step into an unknown forest, you may be pleasantly surprised at the beauty you find.  Of course, you may also encounter a bear and be frightened to your very core.  You could get lost, you may get caught in bramble bushes and tear your clothing, and you could contract a very serious case of poison ivy.

But this forest will become a familiar place that you will revist again and again.  You'll learn to navigate through the thicket of thorns and you'll know where to step to ensure a successful crossing.  You'll find favorite places that are your very own, places of strength and creativity and inspiration.  And you may always be surprised, discovering a river that was never seen before or a waterfall that was once hidden.  And always, once you've left to go see to some other ordinary daily task, you will long to go back.

These are the joys of a forest.  These are the joys of an imagination well-used.

Here's to the beginning of a very beautiful friendship.  I have a feeling I will be featuring many forests in my future novels one day.