When I’m writing I sometimes end up with scenes that don’t go anywhere. They’re usually the result of me trying to write my way into the story without having an idea of where I’m going. The scenes either get cut in editing or, hopefully, find meaning later on in the book.
I’ve seen the same thing in parts of my life. I was an art major in college specializing in pottery. Just about the least cost-effective major ever. When I graduated I gave up hope of being an artist. The Peace Corps took me in as an agriculturalist. Yep, the city boy artist was going to be a farmer in Africa teaching people who’d been growing crops since the dawn of man how to do it better. The director of the project I worked for thought that after eight years of ceramics and six weeks of agriculture I might be a better potter than farmer. He let me work with the college ceramic students, professors, and village potters. That was the first time I noticed the strange filaments of my life hooking up.
There are still a lot of scenes in my life that feel like they should have been cut in editing. The fact that they’re still there have me looking forward in life wondering what’s around the next bend. If nothing else, I hope they make good writing fodder.