More in boxes than on shelves. Less floor space, more wall space. Crowded head.

Feeling a little lonely, this morning, an uncommon state of mind for me. Friends, the mirrors of ourselves, seem in short supply at the moment. Some are moving. Some are traveling. Some are recovering. All are far away. The family members one would hope to count on, not so much.

No paths are being beaten to my door. No voices are clamoring, no ovations stood in my honor. And then there’s the book.

There is a moment when one hears the characters’ voices retreat into the distance. They’ve gone as far as you can take them, and they’re heading out on their own. This comes with a magnificent revelation last night that will richen one of them, and open the door to the “and the story goes on” ending the book is asking me for. And yet.

I have reached the point where I doubt the book’s value, even as I doubt my own; the love/hate thing that all writers go through, I think. The perpetual tease that is the task-imposed remove from the writing is part of it. Doubting my own worth right now is another. And I am tired of feeling sorry for myself.

Being better—at writing, at friendship, at human being-ness—is the prize our eyes focus upon. Being wanted is the Grail. We need, too much, sometimes, the interactions to visit the silences, on paper as in life. We need a steadied life to help us to function. We need wholeness. Completeness. We need to be cherished in small ways.

All those things are in short supply right now. Packing the garage is the task at hand; packing the car will be next. Small prizes won. The itty-bitty triumphs we hope our emotions will find. Like reclaiming the me in me.

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