01 02 03 Amorina Rose Writes: Who has your back? 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Who has your back?

Although I do more often than not post around the topic of writing I like to hope that my posts encompass more than this.  For me blogging has become a way to improve not just my writing in an editorial sense but also to improve my ability to connect with others.  Part of blogging is obviously about building a network of readers for my books but most of it comes from a sense of community.  The thought that anything I write can resonate on a more personal level with an audience is something I like very much. Watching what others do and reading about it gives me perspective, gains me knowledge and reassures me I am not alone in my thoughts. So every post I hope I do the same. Topics just turn up in my head and off I go like today.
 I came across an article written a couple of years ago entitled Who is on your Team by Alison Winn Scotch (http://writerunboxed.com/2013/08/21/who-is-on-your-team/) and now that I am hovering so close to publishing, or I could term it in a more generic way, to entering a new professional phase, the article really got my attention.  When we take on something new we either tell people about it or keep it to ourselves.  Fear of failure is hard to push down.  Ironically writing gives you no choice in the matter.  Writers may produce the words but without readers we don’t leave the house. Whatever your endeavor support is invaluable. I think most of us need this as much outside as inside our chosen fields.  What I am noticing though and would love to hear the thoughts of others in this matter, is that these days many people are quite stingy with their support.   
Everyone is too busy doing what they are doing that very little sharing of support seems to go on.  Without the sharing then how can we have our team? In one way or another we take specific steps to ensure we are armed with the necessary paraphernalia to succeed in our newly chosen field.  We do this because we are serious about what we want to do. However we need more, we need to know who is on board for us, and I don’t mean colleagues.  With writers colleagues provide critiques, friendship and like-minded buoyancy.  Other professions have the same but when we enter something new we need more, we need support from those familiar and dear to us.  Yet at times when you get past the block that is your very own internal prison and put yourself out there you get token support.  Things like “wow I could never do what you are doing,” or “what a great idea, aren’t you clever,” sound good but somehow feel off. It often feels like a pat on the head by an elderly relative you see once every few years at a family function but never any other time. It’s not everyone but it is a majority and something I have observed both inside and outside my personal sphere.

It is hard to be jubilant about others these days.  It is a hard world but then let’s not make it harder. Whenever I feel myself thinking less generously I remember this most humbling experience. Many years ago when I was travelling in Italy I found myself on a tour including a visit to the Blue Grotto, or Grotta Azzurra on the Isle of Capri.  The Grotto is a sea cave hosting a phenomenon that only happens 80 days of the year if tidal conditions permit.  At the time oceans (deep water) and I (nearly drowned victim) had a lot of affinity as long as I stayed on land or a boat to appreciate the panorama.  I took the bus journey to the marina, I hopped on the ferry but when I discovered seeing the cave meant I had to get into a tiny rowboat I pretty much freaked. No way can a rowboat be classed as land. The issue was already borderline just being on the ferry.
The cave or cavern has a narrow entrance. One rowboat goes in as one comes out.  Okay I had seen a few go in so it was kinda big in there but the process still wasn’t appealing. Firstly you had to get in the rowboat, then you had to lie down and the boatman apparently had to grab hold of a rope at the entrance which he then had to pull on.  This allowed leverage to lower himself on top of the rowboat passengers as the boat enters the rock.  Limited Space!!! Limited Height!!! Dark hole!!! Can you see where I am headed with this?  No, I told myself, not for me, no small boat or dark hole thank you very much. 

Oblivious to anything except my own personal drama I failed to realise I was being closely observed by a hunky male.  Don’t get carried away as said hunky male had a wife and four kids in tow. He watched as I moved to the back of the line until I was the only one who had not had the cavern experience.  The problem was I was happy with this but he wasn’t.  Very nicely he told me to get into the rowboat.  I said no thank you with extreme politeness. Really, I thought to myself? Who does he think he is? Aussie Accent? Despite his wife grabbing at his arm he did not desist in his, shall say, unusual method of conversation. His verbal tirade went on forever until obviously frustrated with me he pointed a finger and told me to get in the f..king boat in no uncertain terms.  His lovely wife did attempt to curb his enthusiasm but he ignored her and his grinning children, and the openly laughing other passengers  now returned from the hole. I am not afraid to stand up for myself yet aside from saying no I kept my reaction quite mild.  I think it was instinct, an instinct that told me more was going on than appeared.
Over and over this tourist from Perth in Western Australia as I found out later swore at me, pleaded with me and then swore some more.  Finally totally exasperated he said:  
“Get in the f...king boat because I refuse to stand here and watch you miss an experience like this one.  I can’t, I just can’t let you, so get in that God damn f..king boat now.”
I did get in the boat. Something in his manner, his look, in his eyes reached me at some primal human level and fear or not I responded.  Once inside the cave I changed my mind.  I had been insane.  I was in a black hole and I mean black so what the hell was I doing letting a total stranger choose what was best for me. I sat up once the heavy body of the boatman lifted and looked into the darkness of nightmares until a ray of sunlight passing through an underwater cavity called my name. I listened to the music of my heart as it beat in time to the reflected azure magic. Magic, the iridescent wonder whispered to me, real magic the kind you see once in a lifetime that makes you believe in the stars, and fairy dust.  

To this day I remember every moment of that experience, I remember every shade and hue that the sky, the cavern and water gifted me and I remember a man who was on my team even if I never saw him again.  I didn’t need to.  It was enough to know someone existed that wasn’t afraid to step out and speak up for me not as his friend, not as his family but as a fellow human being.  If a stranger can do that much why is it that we often fail to do it for those we love? I think that is why I enjoying the blogging so much.   I get to say things like this and remind myself to put my money where my mouth is.
P.S.  I went back just once more.  Couldn't resist the magic and yes I have used the above in one of my stories.  

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