Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Fledgling

I was going to write in the comments section of another blog about interlopers, but I erased it because I though it might hurt someone's feelings. If it hurts someone's feelings here, they can just leave.

Many years ago I sent a story to Redbook magazine. It was about my usual tagline topic, infidelity. (Gee! I wonder why!!) I received a real letter back from a female who said she liked it but didn't have a place for it in her magazine, but please send more. I never did. So this stuff festers under the surface and comes boiling out later.

I believe, and I have said, to my kids, grandkids, and even to other people's kids, that growing up is the hardest job you will ever have. I also told my daughter that there is really no such thing as a grown up. There is not a definable demarcation between 'grown-up' and 'not grown-up'. I told her that at a certain point in her life, of her own choosing, she will start to pretend to be a grown up and after a while she will convince herself she is grown up, and then every one around her will believe it.

I think it is like the baby birds. Maybe like other animals too. But I guess I relate more to the birds. Whatever. When they are hatched they look to the biggest one for all their food and lessons and safety. Then when they start to get bigger, they fight for the worm or the bug or the seed and it makes them stronger. Then they practice flying and go off and be their own personal care giver, a grown up bird. But some birds are pushed out of the nest by the bigger ones before they know how to fly, or they fall out of the nest too soon by accident, and they try to fly before they are ready. Some can do it and they are fine. Some flutter on the ground and a little girl picks them up and sets them on a branch and they practice and pretty soon they can fly on their own. Some fall out and flutter on the ground and draw the attention of the cat or the fox who eats them. Some, while they are still tiny and bald, get squashed down into the bottom of the nest and become a sort of nest mulch. No life for a bird. But each one of them, from the moment they came out of that egg, sat there fluttering those wings and pretending to be a big grown up bird.

When I started to put my work out in the public eye, I was asking everyone else that was doing it, how do they do it, what happens, what is the best way. Then, usually after a sales spike, or a wonderful review, I start to think what I do works for me and what works for them is their own business. Then after a while, I don't bother to read them. I am too busy and it really can't help me at this point. I am pretending to be a grown up.

Maybe I am fluttering on the ground and that little girl will pick me up and put me on a branch and I will be able to fly on my own some day. Maybe, I'll flutter desperately and the fox will destroy me. I've seen him sniffing around already. Maybe I will go flying off into that sunrise thinking the whole world is mine.

The thing is about the learning and the pretending, I think I am doing such a great job of flying, and I just have to explore places and learn better ways to do things, but I am convinced I can do it on my own now. That might be good. And I read (reed not red)something that is from someone else that is trying to soar and I think, "nest mulch." This is cocky and buys bad karma, but if that nest mulch flies, I am going to go looking for the fox.

1 comment:

  1. With life, like a lot of things, everyone just has to find their own way of muddling through. Sometimes it's according to conventional wisdom, sometimes it's by blazing your own trail. Both methods can see you crash and burn. It really just depends on want-to and perseverance and a little bit of luck.


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