Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Water the damn seeds: A reminder about potential

Photo by splityarn
"There’s a darkness upon me that’s flooded in light
In the fine print they tell me what’s wrong and what’s right
And it comes in black and it comes in white
And I’m frightened by those that don’t see it

When nothing is owed or deserved or expected
And your life doesn’t change by the man that’s elected
If you’re loved by someone, you’re never rejected
Decide what to be and go be it

There was a dream and one day I could see it
Like a bird in a cage I broke in and demanded that somebody free it
And there was a kid with a head full of doubt
So I’ll scream til I die and the last of those bad thoughts are finally out ..."

-- The Avett Brothers, "Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise"

One benefit of taking Latin throughout high school is that I now know the linguistic roots for many random SAT vocab words. For example:
  • Insula means island, which leads to insular.
  • Mel (mellis) means honey, which is how we arrived at the "smooth, rich flow" of mellifluous.
  • Potens means power -- and with power comes a great amount of words, including onmipotent, impotent, and potential.

Potens in particular kept floating up the other day as I spent three hours hunched over my keyboard devoting full attention and angst to researching POTENTIAL publishers for my POTENTIAL stories as a necessary precursor to my POTENTIAL rise to fame and eternal literary glory.

"Must have an agent."
"Must be a published author."
"Must have clips from other national magazines."

Catch-22s, I groused. What plebeian dreamer could hope to scale these walls? What blood money or promise of first-born children could I deliver to launch my still-potential career?

Then I remembered: Actually submitting the stories would be a good start.

So here I am. All potential; nothing realized. All capable of developing; nothing developed. All poised to exist; nothing there.

On one hand, it's heady to have only daydreams. Reality can't poke a hole in my airy castle. No one can contradict my vision. But on the other hand, I shirk accountability. Reality never has a chance to exceed my wildest dreams, and people can't appreciate what I've created.

So it's all potential. All capable. All poised. All within my power (eh? see what I did there?) to realize. And therein lies the reminder and the gauntlet ...

The reminder: Potential means already having within you the seeds for success.

The gauntlet: Water the damn seeds.

---
Prayer #238: Go Be It

Do not gather dust on a neglected shelf, or hang unseen in a shadowy hallway, or shrivel up for want of water, simply because you forgot to make good on what I gave you.

If conditions aren't right, make them right. If you can't make them right, ignore them. I formed you intending motion, and motion I will have, before your potentiality rots from lack of exercise.

Be a fact. Be actual. Be real in the fullest sense -- the real I want you to be.

Amen.

1 comment:

  1. So true, Julia. We all have dreams, but we often forget to actually take the steps to get us there, because we're so caught up in them just being "dreams." How am I ever going to fulfill my dream of running a cafe that hosts workshops for writing and a happy lifestyle if I don't start planting the seeds and then watering them regularly? Dreams CAN become reality, if we break them down into realistic steps. Thank you for this reminder.

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