I got the keys to Castle Unboxed a few weeks ago, and for the most part, my move has been a smooth one. There’s a draft in the belfry that irritates my ears, but I’ve taken to wearing a hat, so that’s good. They tell me I’ll eventually get used to the yowling of Ray’s vampire kitty-cat, and sleep; and while I could wish for more order in the cupboards after Jael cooks, I don’t like to complain. Why would I when the company’s everything I anticipated?
Now it’s time to pay my keep in the keep, and much as I’d like to dismiss it, there’s a quiet “Yes” that insists on being both heard and written for this blog post.
“Not yet,” I tell it. “It’s too soon. Mystic Jan will frighten away all the left-brained people and they were just getting over the toast fairies.”
But if you haven’t noticed, despite their understated arrival, quiet Yeses can be freaking tyrannical.
Do you know what I mean by that term? Are you familiar with that burst of recognition when a choice is right for you?
For me, it’s a total body experience, as if every cell begins to hum a melody – perhaps a hymn – a song I’ve known all my life, yet never once heard with somatic ears. I feel light, connected to the cosmos. It comes from a place so primal and pure I have no choice but to trust it. I imagine it’s what some people might call their Hallelujah.
- It’s how I knew I’d fallen for my husband despite faulty ideas of what enduring love would look like for me. Twenty-five years of Yes.
- It’s the reason I approached a woman of less than an hour’s acquaintance and asked her to teach me about hope – thus beginning an adventure that would change my life, a clinic, and I believe, many doctor-patient interactions. Yes.
- It’s why X is still alive.* See, when she came to my office for a supposedly routine visit, something in my gut whispered she’d come to say goodbye; this chat was her odd tribute to our relationship before she’d go home to swallow the pills laid out on her kitchen counter. Though she’d been careful to skirt the words that would give me legal authority, a quiet Yes made me boss that woman into my aged Tercel. I drove her through the streets of Edmonton, her knees banging the dashboard with each rut and pothole the car struck. I talked her into the hospital to get the help she needed in a dark moment, all because of that instinct. Yes.
- And in ways both macro- and microscopic, Yeses have begun to appear in my writing world. For better or worse, I’m letting them steer.
For instance, sometimes when imperfect words spill from my pen, I know enough to leave them alone. “Yes” says they’ll resonate for the reader in a way their technically more attractive cousins will not. Thus far, the feedback’s been positive.
I’ve had characters whose trajectory zigs when I anticipated a zag, and though it’s meant more work for me, I know the writing’s better for the change.
Finally, though some have told me I’m taking a detour from the “real work of writing” by choosing to write about writing, it was a quiet Yes that led me to darken the doorway of a certain literary castle. *scuffs toe on flagstone floor* Guess we’ll see how that venture turns out together.
Now a few questions for you guys, ‘cause dontcha know this blog post has been about you from the start?
- You might call your Yes experiences by another name, but do you get them? Have they informed you about routes to take on your writing journey? If so, did they act in your best interests?
- Do your Yeses feel different from mine in the somatic sense? (I’m curious.)
- Got any Yes opportunities in your writing life you know you should go for right now? If so, what’s the next baby step you’re willing to take?
- As a corollary, are there any Noes you need to gently utter?
- Are you giving yourself the conditions – space, time, self-respect – to hear a quiet Yes if one arrives? If not, what’s the next smallest step you can take towards doing so?
- Did any left-brainers actually make it to the end of this post? If so – *golf clap* – thank you for your patience.
*Details altered to protect confidentiality.