I can stand on my head. I’m absurdly proud of this accomplishment and I do it (whether I need to or not) once a week in yoga class. Head down, feet up, no problem.
One of the women in my yoga class quizzed me yesterday about this. How do you do it? she asked.
I’m not sure, I said. You put your head down, and, you know, pick your feet up. Stack it all on top of one another the other way, like blocks. Head, shoulders, hips, knees, feet.
It didn’t work for her.
My yoga instructor told me I was doing it wrong—my elbows were too far out. I was making a triangle on the floor with my forearms rather than a basket.
Oh, I said. Okay. Either way, my feet were in the air and my head was on the floor. Mission accomplished, in my mind anyway.
I have a story that I finished about two weeks ago. I think it’s a pretty good one and over the last couple of months I have revised and edited and revised and edited and I think it’s ready for that final read-aloud proofing but I haven’t opened the file in weeks. I can’t. I don’t know why, but I just can’t. I know where I want to send it. I think the story rocks. But I can’t bring myself to stand alone in my living room and read it aloud to finish it up.
So here I am this morning with a zillion things to do and wrapping this story up once and for all is one of them. I’ve been thinking about it all night and it strikes me that finishing a story is a bit like doing a headstand. You know, in theory, that you can do it. If you go through the motions properly everything should work out okay. But finishing a story and sending it out into the world is a massive leap of faith, just like putting your feet up over your head. It’s nerve wracking and awkward. Really terrible things could potentially happen. You could fall flat on your ass in front of the entire class and strain your neck for weeks. That story you love so much could be rejected a hundred times and never see the light of day.
However, without taking your feet off the ground, there’s just no way to know.