Stopping To Smell The Rhododendron

Rhododendron in Bloom

Sometimes you have to stop and smell the flowers, even when they have little or no scent.

A strange thing happened on the way to Christmas.  Suddenly, I realized that fragrance wasn’t any fun any more.

Fragrance – sadly – had become a chore.  It had become a responsibility.  It had become everything that I had counted on fragrance to deliver me from.  Symbolically, the flowers no longer had any odor.

Some people are cut out for the rough-and-tumble of career writing.  Others – whether for good or bad – are not.  I now realize that I’m one of those who are not.

Ask yourself this question.  Given the choice, would you rather be the one who discovered fire, or the one who got credit?  Nobody remembers who discovered fire now, and that’s a bit of a clue to my way of thinking.  I could use a more modern and relevant example, but for me that example has personal significance.  I don’t look back to primitive times to see how far we’ve come.  I look back to see what we forgot.

If you were given the choice to write for yourself, so that you loved the very act of writing, and everyone forgot everything you wrote, and nobody read it, and nobody cared, would you do it?

Or would you rather write in such a way that others took interest in what you wrote, but you fell out of love with the act of writing?

Life does not present us with easy choices.  We are lucky even to get simple choices.  Life presents us with choices that test our spirit.   For me, writing is such a test.

Some are destined to write the words we remember.  Others are destined to write the words we forget.  I do not yet know the purpose to which the spirit world calls me, but I do know this.  I must not only be true to others – I must be true to myself.  Part of this is to say only what I truly believe, even if this is in error.

It is possible for me to say things which please others, but doing so while I say what I truly believe is difficult.  It is hard.  It is work.  Sometimes, when the spirits that I call muses sing with me, we can share in the beauty of what I write, by which we praise the Great Spirit, or the Spirit of Truth, or whatever you might call it.  For me this is a great joy, even when it is difficult.  But if the spirits do not move me, writing is no longer a joy, and my act of writing no longer brings joy to my muses, or to the Great Spirit which we serve.

Because this is so important to me, I have decided to take a break from my fragrance writing.  I need to step back from writing for a while, and reconnect with the things that I love.  The rhododendron flower reminds me of sacred places that I must visit, and things that I must do.  Perhaps as I do these things, the spirits will once again infuse my pen with their power, and I will rejoice in the knowledge that they will share with me.  But if that power vanishes like the wind, and that knowledge dies with me, and all of my words are forgotten in this world, then let that be the choice of the spirit world, which I will obey in service to the wisdom of the Great Spirit.

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