The summer treads on, long and hot. And every time I step onto my balcony to take a break, I'm swatting away flies and mosquitoes, jumping when a bee bumbles past me to say hello. Summer vacation is coming to an end soon. Overall, it's been a mellow one, marked by World Cup games, baking frenzies, new writing goals, and dance classes. I've spent some time with family & friends, and a lot of time introspecting. And I've made some changes I didn't expect. I now read novels on an e-reader. I'm delving into prose writing. And, much to my surprise, I've even taken a twerking class!
Yesterday I listened to a podcast interview with the author of The Alchemist, Paulo Coehlo , and it was inspiring to hear him talk about his spiritual and literary journey. He said that what makes life interesting is the unknown--specifically, not knowing each day what shape our lives will take. This made me think, if we view ourselves as the protagonist of our very own novel, one in which we are simultaneously participant & observer, then we can better accept the ambiguity of our lives by understanding that it makes things more fun. Much like a story we haven't read before, our personal journeys are marked by suspense.
Sus-pense. A word I love. I think it's one of my favorite ingredients in a poem or novel. And though I can get impatient with suspense in life--though it can throw me into swirls of anxiety when I'm feeling out of sorts--I think it also makes things more interesting because it arouses curiosity. And curiosity inspires engagement.
So the next time I'm feeling down or confused or impatient, I'll try to remember that "Suspense combines curiosity with fear and pulls them up a rising slope" (Mason Cooley).
A new school year is about to start...new writing projects & new experiences. There's fear, excitement, and curiosity. And when I'm pushed out of my comfort zone, I will try to remember that uncertainty, reframed, is also suspense--the thrilling pleasure of not knowing--the audacity of hoping.