I remember the first year that I (well, we) served as Santa for our little family, our distant east coast outpost celebration so far from the rest of our clan. Up until then--even as a married couple--I had gone to bed at a certain point so I didn't have to see Santa do his work. I just didn't want to see behind that curtain, even though I knew what was there.
So that first year was both thrilling and, well, a little empty. I was used to being a consumer of the magic. Not the magic creator. It was daunting and humbling. I realized just how much my own parents had done through the years to create that magic that I hungrily lapped up.
I'm feeling that all over again, the distinct difference between consuming and creating.
Over the last few weeks, I've been working on writing down some stories that have been swirling around my head. Now, I've always been a reader. I love to get immersed in a great book, to be on the receiving end of that literary magic. But. I'm newly daunted by the creation of that magic, suddenly humbled and appreciative of all of those manymany thousands of pages I have gobbled up. On one level I knew it was work. Now I know it on another level. I want to write to each of the authors or visit them and bow at their feet and apologize for how lightly I took their seeming effortlessness.
So I pull out my favorites, hoping their magic touch of dialogue~setting~characters~details will seep through their pages to my fingertips and out to my own writing. Thank you Harper Lee, Justin Cronin, Susan Minot, Wallace Stegner, Anne Lamott, Kent Haruf, and others for being my pantheon of writing gods. I aspire to your magic and I'll probably never get there.
Painter Paul Ferney
images via Flowers East Gallery