Monday, October 6, 2008

I am the Wicked Witch of the West

I really don't like to get wet. I'll melt—or, more likely, I'll freeze.

Showers are the exception.

But swimming? Not a good sport for me, because I'll have to get in the water. Ewwww.

Never mind that after I'm in, as long as I'm not freezing, I have a great time. But it's that initial dunking. Even when you can lure me over the edge, I think, "Oh no, what am I doing?"

It's the same thing with riding my bike in the rain—and we are now in the season of rain, and it is not a short season. I look out the window at the gray and the mist and the water falling, and I think, "Oh, no," and I think, "This is going to be miserable. Mizzzerrrable."

Then I get on my bike, and I get wet, and it isn't so bad. Granted, it's only a couple of miles and I can change into dry clothes at the end, but I start to have fun. Why not ride around in the rain.

(I admit that when I'm sitting on my sofa, this sounds insane.)

While I was riding in the rain through the ravine today, I thought about this general reluctance, and I realized that it's all about taking the plunge. And isn't water a great metaphor for the unknown? I've spent decades learning how to dive in, convincing myself that it's okay, and it's worth a little rain or that initial chill when you wade into the water.

And I'll try to take the plunge in my poetry more often, both in the writing and in the sending out. While I can send magazine submissions, I approach sending out manuscripts with the same trepidation I have for swimming. But I've promised myself that I'll send this manuscript out and out and out. I will swim in it.

How about you? Any reluctance, any metaphors?


Jane said...

Taking the plunge... I did that recently when I created a blog (which is the "coolest" thing I can claim doing in a long time). I found it very empowering, and it has added a spring to my step and lit a fire under my inspiration to create new art! (Ah - but it has NOT killed my bad habit for using trite sayings...)
I, for one, have always loved walking in the rain - warm rain that is. While you are afraid you might melt, I keep hoping I might shrink! Cold rain, is another thing altogether and my very least favorite kind of weather. I'll take 10" of snow before I wish for cold rain. At all costs - keep warm and inspired.

Joannie said...

We don't often get 10" of snow here, although a dusting can shut down the whole town. But thanks for reminding me to add a link to your blog. Now I'm going to go take another look at that Dickinson chair.

Premium T. said...

I too hate sending out submissions. I'd rather fold laundry. Rather vacuum. Almost rather go to the dentist. (Just kidding on that last one) But I got my act together briefly last weekend and send out three packets of poems. And I was exhausted. Not sure what the reluctance is, especially considering all the years I've been at this. Possibly there is some underlying simmering psychological source. It's not fear of rejection!
(Got used to that a long time ago.)

Joannie said...

I think that for me, with manuscripts, it's the worry over getting everything right by the guidelines: which cover pages, what's the fee, do you need a postcard, should you include an acknowledgements page, and so on. But I'm determined to keep trying with this manuscript.