Sunday, February 24, 2008

Chocolates, Anyone?

On my way home, I see a Forest Gump quote scrawled in blue marker on the bus seat in front of me: “Life is like a box of chocolates.” The unwritten part is, “You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Isn’t that true? To experience anything we need to open the box, choose something in a wrapper and take a bite. It can be soft and chewy… or we can chip a tooth on a hard piece of caramel.

Often the chocolates with all the swirls that look so tempting can disappoint us. Maybe the career we chose did not pan out or the relationship that started out with such high hopes did not last. That doesn’t mean they weren’t worth pursuing – only that we may have to try a few things before we know what we really want.

It’s all about choices. Every decision we make leads us closer to something that works for us.

As I get older, I take more care with the things and people I choose. There’s less time ahead of me, and I want it to count. One day that box of chocolates will be empty (yes, the second layer, too!) and I will finally toss it aside.

Until then, I will try all the pieces that appeal. I will savour each one before going on to the next. I will enjoy every flavour – light or dark, sweet or bitter – and keep in mind that nothing lasts, no matter how much I want it to.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Wicked Wind

I am standing at a downtown street corner, waiting for the light to change. The wind chill reads -28 ° Celsius – giving the kind of bite that bores into your bones. Still, I’m glad to be here after so many days/weeks/months writing the novel. A new hotel has gone up opposite the building where I used to work.

I remember glancing out my office window as I sorted through paperwork and answered phones. And how I envied people who were free to stroll in the sunshine or sit on the terrace, chatting the afternoon away with friends.

Now I am one of those people, living according to my own schedule. It’s great being able to sleep in on winter mornings such as this, but I really do best when I’m focused and have a purpose. These days the writing has that effect on me – bringing new insights and character twists almost daily. I’ve never written fantasy before and the story is spinning in directions I didn’t anticipate.

The wind hurts my face at this temperature. I pull up my hood, snuggle a little deeper into my coat, and walk on. It’s easier to tolerate the cold knowing that spring is one day closer.