...if someone, or something, is trying to send me a message.
Anyone who has read more than one or two entries here know this has been a bad year for me. Beyond bad, really; it has aged me considerably and has crushed some of my cherished dreams and beliefs. It has also brought me to a place where, like a fighter who has been knocked out but doesn't quite know it yet, I stagger around, waiting blindly for the next blow to land, not knowing from what direction or source it will come.
Didn't have to wait long today.
While I was struggling with a recalcitrant story that must be finished this afternoon, I received a call. A story that was to be done next week will have to be delayed for a variety of reasons, none of which have to do with me.
I was looking forward to doing this one. Not only was it to be an exclusive for me, but arrangements had been made to sell it to two non-competing publications simultaneously. Thus, two paychecks instead of one, which is of course desirable.
The story will still be written. But the delay moves it past a publication deadline, which means that instead of having to wait two or so months for payment, I won't see any return for at least three or four months.
At the best of times, that would be something of a blow. As matters are these days, with other clients apparently locked into ultra-slow pay mode and my debts steadily increasing, it is intolerable.
And that brings me to the question that haunts me: when does the downward spiral stop? When are losses to be replaced with gains?
I don't know how I managed to speak calmly with the person who broke the news to me. I made it sound, as I had to, as if it was a minor problem.
Only I -- and now you -- know that it has taken the last remaining wind right out of my sails.
What good is keeping your focus on the horizon when you have been deprived of the ability to take any steps toward it?
Some religious people believe God will not load more difficulty on anyone than they can stand. I have to say I disagree. My burden, the combined weight of personal and business betrayals, seem beyond my strength.
3 hours ago