I am working on being more comfortable with uncertainty. And there is no better exercise for such work than being in the middle of an essay. Many things in my life, take parenting, I cannot give up. Writing, as a whole, is something that I must do in order to be more fully myself. But one essay, that's something I could abandon. I could walk away from this particular pile of pieces and move on to something new and fresh. Staying with this essay requires flexing a different set of muscles, finding my ability to stay in the midst of something through which the path is still uncut.
I thought this piece was close to being done. I thought I would cut apart the draft and insert the newest sections into the essay; I thought they would complete the circuit. But sitting among the segments, I discover that I am smack dab in the middle of the process. I am no longer sure where to begin the essay or how it should end. I have discarded sections that used to be key to its integrity. I am so overwhelmed that I lay down and drift off for a few minutes. Then I sit up and sip coffee and stare at the slips and slivers of paper that refuse to yield. Minutes grind by. My back begins to ache. My coffee cools in its cup. And then I remember what this silence, this elongated moment seeming to lack forward motion, has to offer.
Potential. The potential to push beyond the borders of what I already know. I stretch my limbs and begin again.