I remember this one hill near my home when I was a kid; it was near the high school and we'd often ride our bikes out and play around the grass and playground equipment. Tag and kites, whatever the day required, that field had it. It's almost difficult now to remember being so easily entertained by...well, a park. But, anyway, in the middle of it all was a really big hill that bottomed out into an inverted dome of grass - and one of the things we did was roll the hill. You know that one, right? Just lay down, cross your arms and let gravity spin you into a near-vomitous pillar of laughter. And eventually, one of us would get the idea of taking the hill at a run. Just nose towards the base and run run run. It was great until about half way down, when you just couldn't keep your feet under you any longer, and BAM. Wipeout.
Sometimes I really don't know how any of us survived childhood.
At any rate, that adrenaline was just awesome. It was a drug, honestly, wasn't it? You just don't see people laughing like that when chemicals aren't involved.
But all that aside, the sense of being almost ready to wipe out, where you're churning your legs as little flesh-and-blood pistons of fury, recognizing that, at any moment, you're about this far from face planting. It's pretty exhilarating. Very exciting, and yet empowering. It's also a very close approximation to the sense of omnipotence that is generally only experienced when we're too young to know better. Joy versus risk. When do we discard one for the other? At what point do we allow the possibility of failure to unseat our celebration of life?
Or are the two mutually exclusive? I'm leaning towards not. I think it's the possibility of risk which makes the celebration more satisfying, to be honest. Running down the hill for the first time and laughing right up to the moment where you wipe out is fun, yes. Crazy mad insane fun. But picking yourself up, going back to the top and doing it again? Oh, that's just super-crazy. And even more fun.
Granted, "all things in moderation" (including moderation?), meaning that, yes, we can't hope to live in that realm wherein all the world's cares go screaming past, too blurred to distinguish or bother; but we certainly can opt to visit there from time to time. I think I took a while off from that place, but yet.... starting to feel that again. Only, without so tremendous a risk of grass stains.
Getting ready to launch three more books - book 5, "Into the Blink", as well as two of my autobiographical journals, "The Middle Age (1 and 2): A Geek's Journey from Boy to Man (and back again)". That'll bring my library to a not-so-whopping-and-yet-still-nothing-to-shake-a-stick-at total of Seven. And this will be an even crazier year than last. In addition to working on "The Crook and the Blade" (book 6) - with a target launch date of mid-September 2011, I'm also developing a few more ebook anthologies, as well as some other projects that are still kind of hush-hush (for now).
Me and my daughter are working on some short stories for a children's anthology, which I would like to have completed by this fall, too. I would love to find a good artist to work with for some interior art, but have been toying with the idea of just doing the sketches myself, in a kind of A. A. Milne sort of reductive style. It'd be fun to break out the pencils and pens and see what I could do after so long. I should think my old college art professors might be a little relieved that I haven't just completely thrown away their lessons.
Working with some other fantastic authors now, too - Jen Ashton, HL and Garth Reasby, just to name drop a few - and the projects I already have lining up for 2012 are just so exciting that it's all I can do not to throw everything else aside and work on them right now.
So here I am, laughing, arms flailing, feet going just as fast as they can, wind rushing past my face and the ever-present threat of a park full of rich sod stretching out its innumerable tendrils to cushion my fall. And yet, I've stopped worrying about the possibility of falling; today, I'm more enchanted by the possibility of flying.
It feels like a good day to enjoy words.
What's your hill? What's that one place for you that gives you that "I AM SPARTACUS" moment?