That’s for the Highlander fans out there. But, seriously, or something, balance is a tricky thing. When I originally sat down to write this, nice mug of gyokuro cha at hand, I meant to write about balancing action with exposition in writing. You need to do exciting things but the whole book can’t just be exciting things. I’ve seen movies like that, where there is no down time, and they always fail for me. Trying to find that balance can be hard, and ever story is different, so the mix will be different every time. That’s why I re-re-re-read everything, to make sure it has what it needs. It even works. Occasionally.
That’s what I originally mean to write about. Now that it’s out of the way, there are probably other kinds of balance to think about. I have a few hours a day to write, in between the things I’m actually paid to do, spending time with a very insistent three year old Chaos and, of course, my Librarian. Then there is business and spiritual life, work and free time, the desire to work on some non-fiction and the fiction I’m currently working on or even the desire to sit and read a book that isn’t research for something else. Lots of dichotomies. Claude Lévi-Strauss would have been proud (assuming I did the full Socratic thing and found some way to resolve the issues), I’m not sure what Catherine Bell (no, not the actress, the ritual theorist) would have thought.
So, how do I solve these? Rather like Ezekiel would, I imagine (he, like many characters, is just a way cooler (or maybe geekier) version of the author, after all); Socratic method. But more than that, sometimes I think the idea of “balance” that we have isn’t always a useful one. One imagines one of those classic scales, like Justice holds. Static balance. The problem with static balance is that if you it off just a little you fall down. I think more of an active, sort of Daoist balance. Things move, you have to move with them. A little more of this, a little less of that. That sort of thing. It’s not necessarily the kind of balance we’re normally looking for, where we get just the right amount of everything we want, when we want it. If your life works out that way, groovy for you, let me know where to sign up. Instead I tend to get the balance I need, which is usually not what I want.
But it works out. Usually. Insert clever closing statement here; I got nothin’.