Christmas came early and it arrived in Kona. The Kona Village Resort » – which normally costs an arm and a leg – offers an annual Kama’aina special for locals in early December: about half off on lodging and food, plus discounted tickets for the Christmas at Kona food and wine benefit. All the rooms are stand-alone huts built along the seaside and the 1800 Hualalai lava flow with meandering paths connecting them. You carry no cash or cell phones; everything is charged to your room. It’s wonderful.
There was client work to be done that weekend. But more importantly there was a weekend of no interruptions that had to be had. Naturally there was residual angst at leaving things undone and going away; deadlines are always front of mind – a cerebral drudgery; druggery; disruption. However, at Kona Village life is unplugged and unpretentious. So for about 48 hours Living interrupted Work for a change. And it felt damn good.
We always return to find things undone. It is one of those inevitabilities. We create these inevitabilities by the demands we make on ourselves to enjoy a certain kind of life, to carve our proverbial beds out of dreams and lay in them before the sun goes down. Without ambitions we’d all be hermits in the woods. With them we always seem just a little bit….
“Why would you complain about something you created?” asked Gary B as he’s cutting my hair. “That’s crazy. That doesn’t make any sense.”
And yet I find a way to do it.
What I do complain about: Paying the Rent. To quote Emily in Hugo: “Nobody pays us to find our artistic souls.”
I wish somebody would pay me to finish the 2nd draft of Hugo; to start on Pearl St; to move on to the long list of other books that lie in digital scraps, on paper, in outlines, zipped up in corners of my brain undone. But they don’t. This is what I have chosen. This is the life I have created.
What I don’t complain about: The Rejections. They are an immutable aspect of my work. 4Q2009 rounded out with the last of 4 outstanding rejections.
- Ploughshares – Ravenous
- The Kenyon Review – Dearth of Ecstasy
- Zoetrope – Rapture
- Zyzzyva – Rapture
(1 holdout remains: an online journal that was reading but has again suspended submissions)
I read recently in the WSJ that an unsolicited manuscript has a .008% chance » of getting published in the Paris Review. In spite of these ridiculous odds you simply have to continue to work, to capture the light while it’s still inside or surrounding you.
And if you’re lucky, you get to do it all again the next day…