Promises to imaginary people

There they were again, the characters whose stories I’ve left in limbo while life gives me other tasks. “I’m coming, friends, I’m coming,” I wrote, “I —”

I almost wrote “I promise,” but my promises can mean nothing. To paraphrase the Jedi master, “Do, or do not; there is no promise.”

A promise is a placeholder: I will do this thing, perhaps not here and now (unless the promise is to love you forever, and then of course it’s here and now and always). A promise to do something is an IOU, and sometimes — some agonizing and embarrassing times — you can’t deliver what you owe.

I hope I can use the memory of those broken promises — the pain of letting someone else down — to motivate my follow-through for my stranded characters, and all the rest. I hate disappointing other people and myself, even when — or perhaps especially when — the people are imaginary. Does that make sense?

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, and an insistent cat. Author of Gladness is Infectious, 24 flashes, How to Play a Blue Guitar, A Bridge at Crossroads, Refuse to be Afraid, and A Scream of Consciousness.

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