You are riding down the hill and it is like it always is when you are riding down the hill, as evening changes to almost-night, as the warmish June air cools further and you can feel the possibility of the world, as breaths. These are not the breaths you take in, deeply, into your belly -- these are the breaths that are unconscious and living, like the millions or billions of bacteria that people your body, inhabiting yet going on entirely without a thought of you. It is no matter. The world is open to you and everything in it.
Today I have launched a Kickstarter campaign. Today I have set afloat a future.
There is a hill to ride up and you do it, shifting down but not all the way down. Your shifter cables are frayed and your chain is loose. You get up your speed as you approach the up and you pedal and then you tense your thighs for the cruise, through the dip, up, up. You have talked to people tonight and you have believed what you said to them. "I am a story teller, not a hole filler"; you have met another hole filler and admitted only to yourself that this is your only possibility, your destiny, your fate, your path. You have not launched this literary magazine to tell your story alone. You have launched this literary magazine to fill a need. To meet your people on their journey and put a quiet hand on their backs, to say, "I want to help," even if you think they will shrug their shoulders away and say, "no, no, no, I can."
Last week I said I was embarking upon a literary magazine, and I meant it, and I shall. I do have help. No, no, no, I cannot do it without you.
You arrive home, skidding over gravel and swooping down the little hill to your pine tree parking spot sploshing with ideas and hopes that there are a dozen little notes of encouragement and funding, you sweep up your things and you skip, you jog, into the house, the door is open and everything is happy dizzy madness. The boys. For them you are to play Scrabble, you are to get milk with maple syrup, you are to receive a soft, full-lipped kiss from your seven-year-old with ASD and a habit of crossing boundaries most seven-year-olds have long since set carefully around them like Army men. They are running around the house, they are roller skating around the house, you are talking to the babysitter and you are listening to their happy wildness and you do! you do! have a dozen little notes.
I have begun to accept these pledges, they come in like sparks, sometimes they roll like wheels down a hill and sometimes they must be pulled like fraying yarn through a steel needle's eye. I want more. Is it too much to say over and over that I want more? I need more.
You say "goodbye" to the babysitter and you cannot even pay him because you are just getting by tonight and you have no cash ("Next time?" "Sure," and he smiles, because he is worth far more than money) and you make popcorn and play Scrabble and tumble to bed late to buzz and buzz and buzz. You go to bed each night (these days) filled with heart-stopping terror and you wake up with gladness and hope. You will! You will! Pull this off, make something beautiful, tell stories in the way you wish to do. Pay writers, pay writers, pay writers! Print things on paper. Throw readings and facilitate salons and oh, oh please, pay yourself and your most wondrous volunteers.
Here is what I am doing: I am filling a hole in our literary hearts. I am reaching out. I am saying, "When we have done this -- when we have laid a gentle hand onto another parent's arm, when we have said words that we hope are supportive and unconditionally loving -- we want to inspire each other to share and share again. Give, not judgment, not advice, but our stories. Listen not in fear or in competition but in acceptance. " I am saying, "Put your hand in mine. Ready; set;"