Anya Leibovitch is a writer and collector of odd jobs who has recently returned to Montreal after traveling cross-continentally for the last few years. She studied Creative Writing and English Literature at Concordia University and mostly writes fiction about flawed humans and bad behaviour. She has no shortage of inspiration, but has been especially influenced by her travels, including a brief stint working on a banana farm.
1 prose piece by Anya Leibovitch
So which one are you, lazy or afraid?
Look, if you’re lazy, or uninterested, that I can accept. But fear is something entirely different. One simply does not cower in the face of their destiny. That is a sure road to misery, a denial of the true self. When you let fear win, that’s it. The end of all progress. And it’s not just about you, oh no. See there’s this whole momentum thing, it’s how the creative community works. You see me producing and it inspires you, no, more than that, you feel compelled to follow. There’s these little signals in your brain that are firing and saying “me too, me too”, and that’s a beautiful thing. It’s proof that we’re all connected, at least in some ethereal sense.
You cannot quell this kind of hunger.
I fall like a drop of rain from the open sky, run through the streets, every crack and crevice, not on my own. Together, we flow through the streets, a stream and then a river. We are washing everything away, making it clean again. Though we’ve only just met, we fit together effortlessly. From the first drop, it is a soft landing and I am carried along, succumbing to the current. It is my natural inclination to resist, pull back, shake it off. But the others calm me. Surrender, they say, it gets better.
We are picking up speed, forming churning, turbulent waters, not just cleansing anymore but removing all that does not serve us. “This isn’t the way,” someone says, but the voice is quickly drowned out. We are making a new way, so it doesn’t matter. We have seen the truth and there’s no gping back. Nothing can stop us. We have the power now to burst through dams, a tidal wave or typhoon. This is what it must feel like to have a purpose, I think. To be a part of something. We are at the forefront, smashing barriers, bursting through unannounced. Unapologetic.
People get out of bed in the morning because they feel compelled to do it. That thing they’ve been assigned to, or fallen into. And then there’s the lucky ones who feel this passion, a deep-seated belief that their work is truly valuable and important, and the self-discipline not to allow those desires to be dulled by all the ways there are to distract yourself nowadays. If we are really just parasites, then what is this passion? The attempt to offset indulgence, to contribute something of value, to make this life bearable.
So we turn to one another and we say, “It’s okay, you’re doing good. You are doing a good thing. Keep getting out of bed. Keep showing up. Stick around. It’s all going to be worth it, you’ll see”.
And it’s a lot easier to do, all of this, when you’re a drop in the ocean, being carried along on the tide. No one knows where we’re going, if you want the real truth. We could end up lapping against the shores of golden beaches, or swirling around a toilet bowl. There’s no guarantee. And sometimes it’s so hard just to stick it out and wait around. Sometimes the waiting is the hardest part. I get restless when the waters don’t churn, when the current slows. I worry we are stagnating. We could be turning into a swamp, for all I know. But it’s impossible to know, really. I am on a journey, I don’t know where to. It doesn’t really matter, I guess.
I keep showing up. Punching in. I hardly think about it anymore.