I have a theory that there are no real realists. That people who declare themselves realists tend to be pessimists, that true realism requires some acceptance of the unknown and mysterious, and with it an understanding that in that dark wood you manifest your own reality. I think it’s hard to embrace that as truth and not feel at least somewhat optimistic about it, not feel even the slightest bit hopeful.
Ellen Langer says that mindfulness and creativity are the same thing; they’re both about breaking free from set patterns of thought. You decouple from the stories you tell that no longer describe what’s really happening with yourself or another person, with your company or the marketplace. And one way mindfulness/creativity comes forward is from being in a state of confident uncertainty. I can sit down every Sunday and not know what I’m going to write to you, while at the same time believing with supreme conviction that I’ll write something, that the letter will be sent, that when I get to the river a bridge will have been built. Acknowledging uncertainty opens you to answers; being confident rouses the energy to find them.
So: I’ve been here before and now I’m here again. The last weeks of a new draft of the novel. My deadline is mid-December and I move at a pace of eight pages a day. I don’t know how I’ll solve what’s left to be solved; I only know that it will be solved. I only know that the air is cold and the path leads into the deep trees, and I must keep walking to reach the other side.