Friday, February 1, 2008

Of Lights and Tunnels

Our day in court was...a miracle.

1) The judge was friendly and in good humor. 2) The prosecutor had some connection to our lawyer's husband through his family in the Province. 3) We were the first case of the day. 4) The judge said something about adoption being a great thing and not wanting to stand in the way of adoptive parents and their child. 5) He allowed us to give testimony and be cross-examined in front of the court stenographer in a separate room. We went in that morning fearing that neither of us would be allowed to testify due to time constraints, that we'd have to wait several weeks for another hearing for Bryce's testimony, and several weeks after that for mine.

The court social worker will give her statement Feb. 21. Then it's a matter of waiting for the court to hand down the adoption decree, probably sometime in April.


Of course we still have to work with immigration and the US Embassy to get all the travel papers in place, but it finally feels like there's an end in sight.

Say it with me: Boo-yah!

If all goes according to plan, we'll be on our way home June 1.

Now that I'm not so preoccupied with all the what ifs, I feel like reading books again, like writing again. I grabbed my tattered copy of One Man's Meat to ease myself back into the reading scene with a few of E.B. White's incredible essays.

Here's my (his) gem of the day:

"The intellectual who simply says 'I am a writer,' and forthwith closets himself with a sharp pencil and a dull Muse, may well turn out to be no artist at all but merely an ambitious and perhaps misguided person. I think the best writing is often done by persons who are snatching the time from something else--from an occupation, or from a profession, or from a jail term--something that is either burning them up, as religion, or love, or politics, or that is boring them to tears, as prison, or a brokerage house, or an advertising firm. A great violinist must begin fairly early in life to play the violin; but I think a literary artist has a better chance of producing something great if he spends the first forty years of his life doing something else--grinding a lens or surveying a wilderness."

Putting mechanics aside, as well as the fact that great writing is often hard-won and develops only after years of mediocre writing (in other words, you have to work at it), I kind of agree with him. And not just because it's likely I won't be published before I turn 40. :) I like the idea of perspective, of bringing decades of life to the table and digging deep to put the relevant pieces of that life down on the stark, empty page.

At 20 I thought I was pretty good at the writing thing. At 30 I thought I had it down cold. Only now, halfway to 40, have I taken to heart that humbling truth that the more I learn, the less I know.

But I also feel a comfort with my own voice, both as a person and as a writer, that I've never known before. Dare I call it maturity? It's a knowlege of what drives me, of what I feel passionate about. It's a deeper understanding of pain and joy. It's a willingness to place less importance on the opinions of others, and an ability to discern--and take to heart--the voices that truly matter.

1 comment:

Helena said...

Wonderful! I'm so glad to hear it went well.

"prison, or a brokerage house, or an advertising firm"... Ha!