Rise Up

There are small moments in your life–tiny decisions that don’t mean anything. Unless they mean everything. There are good reasons for choosing either direction. To be quiet and let someone else do the pitch that turns the decision one way. To step forward, command the attention yourself, to rise up and make the pitch that turns the decision the other way.

How important is the outcome to you? You don’t know  yet. All you know is that you can rise up or step back. You think about it overnight.

The earth heaves forward and you see the place where the sun will polish a hole in the sky.
You are the creator, this is your doing. You can call up the dawn, or you can step into the shadow.

"Genesis" Pitt Pen on watercolor paper. © Q. McDonald

In minutes, you choose either to step into the rising light and cast a shadow, falling in front of you or wait until the sun is in your face, your shadow falling behind you.

You wonder if this creation is good, will sell, will become viral and make you a success, famous, a celebrity, rich beyond belief. You aren’t sure you care.

So you ask your committee to speak up–the inner critic and the other voices of reason you’ve cultivated for your sensibilities.

The “Devil’s Advocate” who warns about the thing you haven’t thought of yet.
The Critic who says the public wants it smooth and cool, and you feel hot and sweaty.
The Marketer who says your portraits aren’t of pretty people, they are raw and ugly.
The Expert who says that people don’t like  hard edgy words now, they want it soft and easy.

You love this work, this scooping out of meaning from the thump of your heart.
You love it, but your  Committee seems to know. Who is right? Who knows enough to advise you?

Sun pushes up the dawn. It’s time to know. Either you or your shadow will step into the shoes that leave deep marks and walk across the face of the earth.
This is no one else’s decision.
This is yours to know.
This is your creation.
For this one heartbeat, you are the Creator.

–Quinn McDonald is a writer and art journaler who wonders about life. She’s changing her mind about her word for the year. She loves “wonder” but she is going bigger and choosing “Step Up.”