Dita Parker

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Waters of March

Yes, I've been redecorating. Kind of psychedelic, isn't it? Borderline claustrophobic also, not having that airy outdoors view, so I'm not quite sure this is it. They went Joni Mitchell on the pier, paved paradise and put up a parking lot. It was bye to the den in the lighthouse, the caravan rolls on. I needed more room anyway so here we are, wherever I lay my hat and so on.

The view isn't particularly inviting or inspiring at the moment anyway. It's raining but I've never been more pleased with the weather lords. As wonderful as it was having a Real Winter, as they called this one, it's now supposed to be spring and I wouldn't mind if the weather matched the calendar. Rain to melt the snow is fine by me, the Waters of March signaling the end of winter. You may have heard that song by Tom Jobim, in English or Brazilian Portuguese, except the lyrics differ depending on the language. In Brazil, and the original version, the rains signal the end of summer. 

Meanwhile, back in the northern hemisphere, I haven't forgotten you, dearest denizens, I think about you all the time. Are you happy? Content? Zinged or Zen? Lost, dazed and confused? Come here, sweetie daaarlings, let me kiss it better. Don't let the growls or the looks fool you, I only pack a tight package to keep the pink gooey stuff from oozing out, you know. 

I have been busy trying to buy some more time to write. The logical thing to do was to take that job I was offered, right? It's only part-time and it's all about balance, the one on my bank account and keeping this pencil of mine sharpened, putting skills to good use. These projects help my writing since they're more often than not language-related. You gotta keep those muscles flexed or they will shrivel. I can't have that now can I? What a waste that would be.

I remember a time when a project like this one would have required everyone flying and working on location. Yes, I'm that old. Is that a problem? Now we all sit at our respective homes all over the globe and still manage to work together and discuss and negotiate things without necessarily ever meeting in person. Kind of awful and wonderful at the same time. Kind of like my writing career. I'm not tied to a place, I'm not tied to certain hours. As long as I do what I was contracted to do, it doesn't matter where or when I'm at it.

There's a price to such freedom, of course; the temporary nature, the need to be super organized and self-motivated. And if anyone knows where I could purchase a day with 72 or even 48 hours in it, I'd pay a handsome finder's fee for that. I'm not writing as much as I would like to be, but I've been taking steps in that direction, one after the other.

I met two dear friends over the weekend, women I hadn't seen for a long time, women in a situation a lot like mine. We had to laugh at the insane schedules we juggle, dog-tired at times but sporting a grin, the kind only that freedom can give you. Not money, not safety, but the knowledge you're being true to yourself. The choices we've made have been ours. We haven't sacrificed our families but we haven't sacrificed ourselves, either. We feel privileged to be doing what we love and know and do best, proud of what we have achieved and the risks we've taken. 

It hasn't always been easy. I'm sure it hasn't always looked like the most sensible course of action when we could have played it safe, but it's been worth it. No guarantees, no safety nets, no regrets. Tomorrow will be here whether we worry about it or not, and the day after. But even ten years from now none of us will think looking back on this rainy Tuesday that "I wish I had..."

I have said this before and I'll never tire singing it, in particular to all the women out there, Special Mention those whining and worrying men are doing this and that and who do they think they are and the nerve! Why aren't you up there going for that job or asking for that raise? You do know your own worth, don't you?

Go. Before it's too late. It's never too late. Do it. Try it. It is that simple. It is damn hard. I won't say it isn't, and I can't do it for you, but I'll love you for it. Respect you even more. Best of all, you'll respect yourself. It's not a bad place to be on a rainy day in March.

The bed of the well,
The end of the line,
The dismay in the face,
It's a loss, it's a find

And the riverbank talks
Of the waters of March,
It's the end of all strain,
It's the joy in your heart. 

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