When I think of a place I feel the safest, a place of utmost privacy, only one location comes to mind. Home. Yet, it is the same place where I have often felt the most exposed.
The chain link fence in my backyard serves two of its three purposes. The first is for the safety of my dogs, Lola and Kona. It gives my fifteen pound beasts a place to run, play and, truth be told, do their business. With the exception of a few close calls, it has done its job and prevented their great escape.
The second is security. A structure forged into the ground and armed with a gated entrance may not be brick and mortar, but it’s more of a deterrent for potential trespassers than an easily accessed grassy knoll.
The missing third is privacy. I am more exposed in my own backyard than almost anywhere else. The see through construction leaves nothing to the imagination, which can be dangerous in a place where I am inclined to act most like myself. While it’s clear that anyone in visual distance has full access to my world at home, it doesn’t stop me from having coffee in my pajamas on the patio. Any sense of privacy, even if psychological, is false.
The fact is that I’m on display.
Just like in my yard, there is a see-through fence around my writing. There, I pretend my fictional world only exists on a hard drive where I can keep it safe and secure. The deception living inside of my laptop allows me to be honest with my story, fully exposing my inner musings onto the page. Yet, the product of those musings is the very thing that bares my soul.
Writing is my chain link reality.
As it turns out, a six-foot stockade fence is scheduled to be installed in my backyard. I will finally be able to enjoy the privacy only someone hidden behind such a monstrosity could enjoy. I don’t have that luxury in my writing. I have to actively refrain from building fences. I must shred the chain links until my words become the inviting grassy knoll for all to trespass upon.
I’ve learned there are times in life when a massive stockade barrier is required. Possibly to protect a loved one. Perhaps to shield your heart. Maybe just for peace of mind. Many more times though, destroying the chain link is the only way to get to the other side where your pot of gold awaits.
After all, if you never take the risk, you will never reap the reward.
To cross my writing threshold, I intend to tear down each fence one panel at a time. As for my yard, I see many pajama coffee days behind a six-foot stockade in my future. Hey, I have to pick my battles.
When picking yours, remember to build those fences wisely. I hear gold is a commodity worth having.