I closed my eyes this afternoon in the hot October sun.
I had a short vision.
It was of me behind a counter, wearing a green apron (or was it red?) and behind me were stacks and stacks of canned food. It was my canned food, my recipes, my towers of personalized peaches, plums and pumpkin puree.
There was a line of people in front of the counter and I repeatedly handed out cans to these consumers as they came and left. Each encounter was casual. I didn't know the people at my counter, but they seemed to know that I was willing to give away my surplus and they were willing to take it.
Then one woman took a can from me of pumpkin. She turned towards a table in the room. As she opened up the can and dipped her finger inside I noticed her face. It looked very confused and almost displeased.
I looked at her, she looked at me, she took the can and left.
Then, in this vision, the lady came back with a green bowl (or was it orange?) of pumpkin puree and handed it to me.
"I took what you gave me and it didn't taste good to me, so I took it home and I worked on it and worked on it until it tasted right to me."
And she offered me the bowl. I didn't take it from her, but instead dipped my finger inside and tasted it. She was right, it did taste better. It had a clearer taste--the spice was defined.
When I opened my eyes I knew what this vision meant.
It's a metaphor for writing.
Whatever I write is mine to keep or give away. And I give a lot away. I have stacks of stuff on this blog freely published for the taking. And there are readers willing to try it out for awhile, and there are some who taste my surplus and decide it's not for them and they never come back. And there are those who are willing to work with what I'm giving away--readers who are willing to be more than causal about their reading. They do their homework and come back to enrich my product in return.
This happens all the time. (Every time?)
My job as a writer is to not close up shop, but continue to give away an imperfect product with the hope that I'll get better, clearer, more defined as I bounce ideas off of a compassionate community.