Talent is something foreign to me, like a distant tree on a land not my own. It is beautiful, it sways, it beckons. I see that others climb up and down its branches with ease, while I stand frozen and lose myself in the mundane. Yet like the moon that seems to follow you as you travel, the tree is visible from each window of my home. The energy I expend averting my eyes could be better used approaching the tree. At least to sit in its shade, accustom myself to its immense grandeur, before trying to climb its lowest branch.
Tomorrow I will do that. I will pack a fresh notebook, three of my favorite pens, two sharpened pencils, a good eraser, and some wholesome snacks. I will don soft, comfortable clothes and not look in the mirror before I leave. Stepping out of my home, I will feel the twinge of anxiety again, but the smell of creativity will waft from that far away place, encouraging me to come forward.
Then I will walk ten paces, surprised by how close the tree truly is, and sit upon the soft moss growing on the roots’ surfaces. I am alone. Blissfully alone. I see no one climbing, no one descending. The tree and I are happy I’ve come. My notebook is soon filled with the ocean of words that my anxiety once tried to contain.
When I stand to leave, the tree seems to droop, forlorn in knowing that I may not return for many moons. How could I have known that my talent yearns for me more than I dare yearn for it?
[This is something I wrote a few years ago. The tree has become my dining room table at 5:00 a.m. I realize I do not need the perfect desk, the perfect lighting, nor the perfect mood in order to write. All that I need is a good blue ballpoint pen, a pad of yellow lined paper, and a little quiet. It is the sitting down that is hardest of all. The words write themselves.]
Ruth Wiseman © 2019