One year ago, my wife and I stood in darkness and cried. Rachel and I fought to catch our breath as we saw the most beautiful thing we had ever seen – our sun’s corona flaring beyond an utterly black circle, shimmering brilliant and unearthly where our naked eyes should not be able to track.
A ring of impossible fire.
Two days prior, we had driven to Jay Em, Wyoming, an official ghost town five hours north of home and within a latitudinal whisper of maximum totality. Beyond the town’s abandoned main street, its permanent population is five families above ground and about two-dozen families beneath it.
We camped two miles south, gleefully trading dollars for a small patch of hastily converted pasture, our tiny haven from which to watch the moon overmatch its celestial titan.
For two minutes and twenty-eight seconds.
For exactly that long, Luna – our tiny moon, our companion speck, our barren and lightless neighbor – stopped the Sun. It threw shade at the star that makes life amidst void a possibility. Against all conceivable odds, Luna conquered Sol. For a cosmic moment, the infinitesimal told the infinite, “My turn.”
And beauty of life-changing radiance emerged, striking us dumb with awe.
Your author voice is drowned in light
The light blinding your author voice is all the chatter about why you can’t. The nattering of “You can’t do it” and “It’s not your turn” and “You should be doing something that matters.”
Cover that false light. Blot all the rules and strictures and doubts and reasons why not.
Be the moon.
Cover the sun.
If for only a moment, hold your psyche up against the glare. Use your ego to blot the sun. Do not listen and do not be judged. Cover the sun by strength of will and claim, “My turn,” even against all conceivable odds.
When you do, there is a beautiful, brilliant corona to be found.
The authentic you, revealed.
How to write as only you can
Don’t put your best self forward. Put your truest self forward.
Your “best” self is a glare of false judgment, deemed and criticized and weighed against all other things. “Best” has meaning only as compared to every other who and what. “Best” is not you. “Best” in an unreasonable comparison keeping you hidden. “Best” is a willing mask that you don every day. A mask that it’s time to shed.
Instead of putting your best self forward, write with an authenticity that blots the glare of “best” and reveals your truest self.
Write to unmask yourself.
Be the unique, unbest you. Only that is what the world is waiting for.
We live in a digital deluge of our own making, a barrage of noise and signals as imposing and blinding as the sun above. Except this source we can turn off without waiting for a celestial convergence. For a time, become and abide nothing digital.
Then, when the overwhelm dims, find your author voice in the quiet.
Where you can blaze your ring of impossible fire.
Conversation on Facebook.