The road in

It is not what you write or what you produce as you write that is important.

It is what happens to you while you are writing that is important.

It is who you become while you are writing that is important.

— Louise DeSalvo

Well, that takes some pressure off.

After last week's writing retreat, I'm picking through the ruins of my journal, searching for nuggets of promise. This is the mix of hope and dread; I felt so 'in-the-moment' while writing and later, upon rereading, time and distance diminish the heat and my words seem flat and routine. Does this happen to you, too? 

I am heartened by DeSalvo's sentiment of process over results. I also find perspective from Candice Crossley, whom I met at the retreat. Using Lonesome Pine Special, a poem by Charles Wright, as our prompt, we lifted his line: 

The road in is always longer than the road out, 
Even if it's the same road. . .

As I dig through the muck of my journal, Candice's response offers me much-needed perspective:

There is no arriving
There is only the going

You can fashion a beautiful writing
And drop it on the side
You have not come to the end
Of that small perfect poem
You will find another . . . 

That is not the last dark stand of trees
Or burst of flowers
Or glorious vista
The horizon is always there in front of you
And you will never reach it
You will only move towards it

— Candice Crossley
excerpted from The road in is always longer than the road out.