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The stories keep piling up and I have nowhere to put them except in little digital envelopes to be saved for a time when I can immerse myself in them and set them free. This is why I freak out about ‘the machine.’ It’s as though the machine is designed to keep me apart from the thing that my heart tells me to do. It keeps me focused on being responsible. And of course the irony is that my life, this gift I’ve been given, is so filled with living that it leaves little time for much else than serving the machine. I have to be careful to keep these two concepts separate, however, since my life is my love. The machine is something I have to serve in order to keep life going. It doesn’t help that everyone I know is part of the machine – doing their part to keep the engine humming. Something most of you do quite well.

The third leg of this table is the beast in my chest that says to pay attention to the stories that keep popping up like wildflowers in the meadows of my mind. I want to run around out there. I do. But in order to do that, something else has to give. I can’t turn my back on my life. I can’t turn my back on the machine. And I can’t create more time. So I pluck the flowers and stuff them into envelopes that keep piling up in the corner of my cubicle as my hair turns grayer and the sand in the hourglass collects in the southern half.

My biggest fear in life is running out of time.

I completely understand how some artists go insane.


Jim Mitchem

The Long Walk to Spring
Billion Dollar Con Job

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.