Today a cold front has moved through. Here on Florida’s coast, such moments are truly beautiful. The sky ahead of the front is crystal clear, the air remarkably dry. The wind blows from the south and west, carrying with it the lowest humidity Florida ever sees. The orange trees are blooming now, and the wind carries a fragrance strong as the heat, strong as the sea. And then the clouds arrive, a faint dark ribbon on the northeastern horizon. The wind blows harder still, as though it struggles to hold back the storm. But this moment of perfumed clarity is too divinely passionate to remain for long. And so the front marches towards me, driven on sturdy legs of driving rain.
I have always been comfortable with deadlines. My aim is to beat them. I like to remain ahead of schedule on all fronts. Even when I am juggling a multitude of projects, like now.
But there is a downside.
The work is completed. I have done all I possibly can.
And now I have no choice but to wait.
For a hard-charger like me, this is a rough period. Especially now, as we gradually emerge from the recession, which struck the publishing and entertainment industries with particular ferocity. And even more especially, because at this very odd point in time I am waiting on so many fronts. I cannot remember ever having all these events arrive at the same juncture at precisely the same time.
Now that the screenplay is finished, I am waiting to learn whether the film’s producers can obtain the necessary capital.
Now that my manuscript is completed, I am waiting to hear the public’s reaction to Lion of Babylon.
Now that The Damascus Way is released, I am waiting to hear how it will fare in its second month.
Now that I have submitted a proposal for a new project, I am waiting to hear the publishers’ response.
Now that my last manuscript has been accepted, I am waiting to hear the timing and direction the publishers would like for my next story.
It is a grinding experience. It fuels a sense of helplessness.
So long as I am involved in the creative process, so long as I am writing, I can dream. The project is still mine, the energy is mine, the timing is mine, the power to hope is very intense.
Now it’s all very different.
There is such a concentrated feeling just now. More than vulnerability. My life and my direction are not mine to control. I cannot accelerate the pace. I have done all I can.
The invitation is to become frustrated. To push and prod and ask and shout. Just like a child. Just like a spoiled little kid who can’t control his own emotions, much less accept that the world does not rotate around his desires.
So it has been both odd and pleasing to find a new emotion taking hold in this time of empty-handed waiting. I feel calm.
In the past, such moments have spawned a great sense of fear, sometimes even of frustrated anger. I have lashed out for little or no reason, and then spent days trying to make amends. This time, I have been content to sit.
The cold front has arrived. In the space of five minutes, the temperature has dropped thirty-five degrees. The wind has switched and is howling now, a tempest of cold fury and driving rain. The crystal vision is gone, lost beneath a veil of water and cold and wind.
And yet here I sit. Content for this one small moment to release it all, and pray. Oh, that you would bless me with the wisdom to know and do your will. Even when it goes against the deepest portion of my being. Even when I am called to accomplish the impossible: And Do Nothing.