Monday, September 2, 2013

Never Ever Give Up

   I watched a video of long distance swimmer Diana Nyad emerge onto the beach at Key West, Florida after swimming 110 miles from Cuba.  110 miles!  If I jumped into a pool and glided underwater for half the length, I am pretty sure I can swim to the end.  I'm thinking of a regular backyard swimming pool, nothing public nor Olympian in length.  I cannot fathom (appropriate here) a 110 yard swim, much less 110 miles.  I am a fan.  That Diana Nyad is 64 years old and has been following her dream for 35 years is wondersome.  I am in awe.  As I focused on her haulting determined trudge onto land to complete her feat, I pondered how tired she must be, how foreign for her leg muscles to be working in a different way than they had for the past 48 hours, how miraculous that they could, that she could continue her dogged determination to reach her goal.  She embodied heroic.  And then, through swollen and parched lips, she spoke, slurring her words, but determined to deliver what she said were 3 messages.  She pointed her index finger to the sky.  "One, never ever give up."  The crowd applauded. "The second is, you are never too old to chase your dreams." Attention replaced scattered applause.  "And, this seems like a solitary sport, but it's a team."  She was scooped up in a hug by one of her friends to punctuate the lessons.  I pondered these three messages and I knew the veracity of her words for everyone.  Motivating.  But no more than to those of us who are writers.  The first two messages are clear, the third is a reminder.  Even though our work seems solitary, is, in fact, most often so as we sit in our offices, or niches, or spaces, or wherever and type or write our words that flow into stories and poems and essays and such, even then, we are part of a team.  Connected through the stream of words that flows across the waters, around the world, that travels through space and time from us to you to you.  This is how we chase our dreams and we never ever give up.

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