My end of year reflection.
I am now resting on my mountain climb of 2016, gazing down at the view. After the publication of Falling Pomegranate Seeds: The Duty of Daughters in late August and a busy year tutoring at Swinburne University, I feel weary and need to catch my breath – more so when I look ahead to 2017 and see another climb before me – writing the sequel of my Katherine of Aragon story.
The higher road now beckoning me on does not seem as difficult as the ones I have conquered in the past. I am better equipped for my onward journey. Through writing, I am continually honing my skills, deepening my knowledge about text, about how it deconstructs to build anew a better-grasped world, a better-grasped identity.
Nowadays, I understand why I must write. I also feel affirmed about the magic of writing – but I am a magician who wants to understand more fully and profoundly the “trick,” what I need to do to make the magic work, on the page and for myself, so I can share it with others – and help make this writing mountain climb easier.
I gaze at the view below. The faraway foothills are misty and blue – it is only by memory I can pinpoint paths I followed so long ago. I decided I wanted to write as a child. I did not realize the twisting, hard road before me. I glance at my scars. Once they caused me pain, but now I proudly bear them. I survived and surmounted the many times in life when I was kicked down.
I can still make out my first important plateau, the moment when, at last, I gathered the courage to walk this road. I was then a young mother, studying for a Graduate Diploma in the Arts – a course that baptized me into a new life of creativity. Like Paul, on his road to Damascus, I saw the light. No longer blind, I finally knew my way to true growth was through pursuing this writing quest. It meant keeping hold of my courage. Before me, the unmapped road was steep, unmade and difficult, my first tentative steps veiled by doubt, uncertainty, and loneliness.
I am no longer alone on this mountain. Along the way, I found companions who shared my passion, my belief, that this way forward is our particular life journey we must brave. We have supported and held out hands to help one another over those seemingly impossible parts of this journey. Some have gone up ahead, higher on this mountain, but I see them still, waving and calling down to me in encouragement, as I wave and encourage on those on the lower steps.
The view seizes my heart with its perilous beauty. Every step I have taken to reach this resting place gives reason for pride. Before me, the climb is perilous still. Once I was full of doubt and fear, but now, wearing laurels from writing victories, I am excited about the impending adventure that promises continual growth. I may never reach my mountain’s apex, but, with every step onwards my view becomes more beautiful…
I wish all my readers a wonderful festive season of love and joy.
And for a bit a Christmas reading, here’s my imagined Christmas at Greenwich in 1536…