Comes a moment for the writer that carries equal potential for terror and joy: the moment in which one goes back to a work after considerable time away.

I have not, with the demands of the move, had the mental or emotional stamina to stretch the muscles of my critical self; to challenge my own work with a critical eye. I did that today, not in print but on tape.

I listened to the last two chapters of Everything.

Submission to one’s critical faculty is a tricky thing. Hard-Eye ain’t called Hard-Eye for nothing. Go back to a work after a time away, and one may well find one’s self staring down at a handful of straw.

Not today.

Oh my.

I hoped for passable. I got more. My words sang to me. They filled me with “I did that” moments of wonder. Once again, instantly, they became my company, my bastion against the tug of loneliness. My retreat and protection. My me.

I felt the setting apart, the rising above; the uniqueness and strength of my own words. I remembered what those moments are…the ones that fan that deep writer-fire…the condition in which walls recede and vision fogs; where one goes fearless to the silence where the ideas live.

We meld with the Other as writers. We look from a vantage that can be much too close. We can deceive ourselves. We can talk ourselves into the belief that more substance exists than actually does. And if we’re lucky, we have days, experiences, reactions like the one I had today.

I am a different person when I am writing. A happier one. I wait for the bedtime story that I’ll tell myself. The new friends who will fascinate me. I know that the road between here and there will not be an easy one. I’ll be gnashing teeth and tearing hair before long. Such is the fate of Hard-Eye.

One tries not to see more than is truly there. One waits for the reactions of treasured friends. One fancies the idea of doing a live reading for a local writer’s group. To paraphrase what a friend says of pain, Hard-Eye don’t hurt. Not right now.

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