Becoming a Writer.
On a hot day, you are standing on a ledge above a lake. You want to go in, you love the water, you know it will do you good. You also know it will be deep, unfathomably deep. It will hurt your ears; at times you will be unable to breathe.
And then you are down there, floundering at the bottom, poking around in the darkness, picking up stones, shells, weed, something to bring back up, to use, to start you off.
I found a lump of rock and hacked it madly for weeks. I’d read about the rock; I knew its type, its structure, its age, its colour. I’d heard that if I chipped away long enough, tiny gems would reveal themselves.
My rock took shape. It began, over long months, to have a new form, one I recognised, that I had looked for. It told my story. And inside too, were the small, shiny, precious things I’d not expected to find.
So I chipped and chipped, until one day it was left on the table and someone said,
—Stop. Leave it now. It’s done.
Then I walked away, back to the lake and stood on the ledge again, looking down.
I know the water now, a little. At times it will hurt my ears; at times I will be unable to breathe …