First, the conflagration of multiple postings and passwords and screens–myriad circus rings, with Jacob and Caitlyn wearing their high hats, balanced upon the trumpeting elephant of last year’s performance, as the parade of introductions promises ‘astounding feats beyond the imagination’, death-defying acts beyond mere pen and ink.
Then, the multitude of participants; a population of word jockeys, all saddled and dissembling words and meanings, meanings and words, chomping at the bit, ready to race from the post, past the tittles, and pulling up only at the final jot, where victory roses never smelled so sweet as in the imagination of those who have never worn their wreath.
And then there is me. Beast of burden. Gray and worn. Plodding where the fodder is ample and the sun is warm. Where old bones–and memory–tread slowly, half-dazed, half-mad, with the tattered remnants of dreams dispatched by dragons and windmills.
The whole–the enormity of this many people all sure of the perfect word for the perfect sentiment–is overwhelming. I cower in the shadow of what they might accomplish. And what I will not.
But I am not here to race, only to complete the task I have set for myself. I wish myself only the right word at the write time in the right place.
To you all, I wish the roses.