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Angie tried to recall all the things she had to do, but she couldn’t. One task kept coming back over and over again. She couldn’t think about anything but this task, and at the same time, she couldn’t find a way to solve it, to change it or to complete it.

She tried to collect all the data related to this task, but she couldn’t. One specific problem kept emerging and Angie didn’t seem to be able to detach herself from the task at hand and to take a distance to observe it, to contemplate it, to watch it, to think about it objectively, to imagine herself doing this task… Something was missing for Angie and she felt that this whole thing was draining her, frustrating her, worrying her and making her office hours unbearable.

She decided to take a walk to the garden of the Beautiful University of Heaven.

A few minutes later, she returned to her office and as soon as she sat down again to her desk, she managed to scribble the following:

“Here we go again. I am in front of my white screen. A few minutes ago, I wrote two paragraphs and everything seemed to be going pretty well, until suddenly I imagined your faces and your eyes reading what I wrote. I panic, I lose the tiny self-confidence I acquired lately when I moved to my new job, and I glare at my words wondering what to write and how to take it from here. I try to read what I wrote, there is no use, I am stuck, I am scared. I try to stare at the floor, the window, the door, the light, the table, the cup, the bottle of water, the key, the chair… and back to the floor, to the door again and again… but nothing seems to notice my fear, my distraction, my sinking self-esteem… I take a deep breath, I think about your eyes again. I don’t want to disappoint you. I try to read again what I wrote, hunting for mistakes, my task seems easy and hard at the same time, I have never edited myself, I have always understood my own words, but is it the same for you? Can I have your eyes for a while just to see for a few minutes what you see? Can I have your mind for a while to assimilate what you understand, to read what you read, to understand what you read?

Ummm… I just remembered how hard it was for me to write when I started working at the Beautiful University of Heaven. I just recalled how my former boss, Dr. Machintosh used to skim through my short painfully written draft, and how, with the coldness of a butcher, she used to remove almost everything and rewrite it entirely. It took me a very long time to find the voice of the writer within me, and when I heard it for the first time it was so sweet and so gentle, that I couldn’t help but listen carefully to every word and every idea it had…”

(Thank you 🙂 I dedicate this post to John.)

(By Zeina Gabriel)