I’m Anglican/Episcopalian. Trust me; it’s relevant to this blog entry.
Ever since I’d gotten confirmed at eleven years old, I could count on one hand the number of light bulb moments I’ve had in while sitting in Mass. Last week, people, I had one of those moments.
The sermon was entitled “Are We There Yet?” Now anyone who’s either been a kid or driven kids on long trips is ultimately familiar with that question… the excitement, the impatience, the urgency with which one awaits getting to the end of one’s journey wrapped up in those four little words. In this instance, the priest went on to extrapolate this question into our lives, how we spend an interminable amount of time waiting. I immediately thought about waiting for my mainstream book deal.
But back to Father David and his sermon... He said that the one constant that gets you through the wait is your faith that you will get to the end of the journey, get “there.” He said – get this – that some people have such strong faith that they don’t even ask the question anymore, that their belief on its own is enough to get them “there.” As a matter of fact, even asking the question – Are we there yet? – connotes a lack of faith in itself. My mind was officially blown.
Upon reflection, I extrapolated this question – Are we there yet? – to my writing career, which I have been actively pursuing for almost a decade now, sacrificing relationships with friends, family, lovers, and potential life partners. On this writing journey, I’ve been forced to change my concept of “there” quite a few times. “There” used to mean getting the book deal. Then it meant making my existence mean something by sharing stories that resonate with others, to commune with my fellow human beings, if you will. Kind of like the literary equivalent of buying the world a Coke and keeping it company. After years of being Clark Kent in the workplace and Superman in front of the computer at home, for me, “there” has evolved to mean doing what sustains me – which would necessitate me being a full time writer. By this present measure of “there,” I most definitely am not there yet.
And, unlike my fellow Anglican/Episcopalians with whom I shared a pew that Sunday, my faith has been shaken by recent developments. Rejections of a manuscript that I’d written with so much love have rained down on me in torrents. My agent and I have recently parted ways. I remain in limbo, cleaving to nothing special as I ride the train with the other nameless, faceless people with magnetized tags on lanyards around our necks, going off to till someone else’s field.
Unlike the faithful, I keep asking the question. I feel compelled to ask the question. Because I can never, will never accept that, in my presence circumstance, the answer to the question – Are we there yet? – is yes, you are.