I read somewhere that you must do something that scares you everyday.
To me, that would be touching a pigeon or having a conversation with Linda Blair in her full The Exorcist make-up.
But I don’t think that’s what the author meant.
I suppose what he or she meant was, every day we need to push ourselves to step out of our comfort zone. Whatever that zone is. And in doing so, we quicken our heart and make it young again, if only for a moment.
When I was a kid, I took immense pleasure in trying new things. As a matter a fact, childhood is pretty much a long string of new things. That’s what makes it so intensely beautiful. We grow up and older, and new things are slowly replaced by familiar things, and though that’s quite all right, once in awhile, the child inside peeks out through our eyes and sighs, “Boring.”
That’s when you have to indulge her a little.
I was very afraid of going to London on my own, stepping up on stage to read in front of strangers. So much so that a few days before the event, I almost called it off.
But the little girl in me wanted to see about something…
The train trip went very well. Debra and her wife Karen were fantastic, warm, and so welcoming. I met readers there and shook their hands and took the time to speak with them. Sky Gilbert and Allison Wearing made me laugh and think sideways. They are both talented and lively. I read my work and connected with the audience.
On the train ride back, I thought about the little girl who sometimes peers through my eyes and looks at this great big terrifying world…
What does she see in it?
Maybe she still sees possibilities. Happiness to be had. Maybe she allows herself to feel hope and excitement about the future.
Maybe she even believes in it.
I closed my eyes and listened to the -thump-thump-thumping of the train…