Good things and bad things
- I’m not sure how it happened, but I’ve fallen behind. I missed Week 1 of Finding Water; I missed Sunday Scribblings. I’m barely online. It’s not a good thing. I have been doing my pages and I even went on a mini artists date last week—a long stroller walk with Madam, a half hour browsing in a bookstore, and Mexican lunch out. I don’t exactly know if it filled my well, but it was wonderful to be out with her. See haiku below (inspired by that day, so maybe it DID refill my well).
- I’m strangely consumed by some thing that is sapping my strength. Not illness, exactly, just…I can’t sleep at night. My mind races and I toss and turn (well, carefully, so as not to wake the lightly sleeping Madam).
- One VERY good thing is that I am finally, FINALLY working on my novel again. Not just taking notes, not just ceremoniously circling my laptop, but actually daring to throw words on the screen. It’s taught me something, which I’m sharing here so I don’t forget it:
- Even when the writing is BAD, it makes everything else feel better—like the weak limbed satisfaction of a good swim. It makes long days of laundry, dishes, diapers, tantrums, overworked TEG, not sleeping…it makes it ALL better.
- I’m trying very very hard not attach anything else to the writing but the writing. I’m trying very very hard to silence that carping voice in my head, the Woman I Should Be—the one who is not only writing, but also embarking on a spiritual quest, spending time with a thriving community of artists and writers, wearing black velvet and elaborate hairdos, and traveling to India for chai and inspiration. She sees me working on ONE of the things on the list, writing, and immediately begins to punish me for not allowing her to breathe in the real world, for not allowing her to exist outside of my head.
- I know I need to make friends with her, but for now, I’m just writing. Everything else can wait.
- I just read a new writing book that taught me a fun exercise—pick a literary family! I’ve decided Anais Nin is my mother, William Stafford is my father, Julia Alvarez is my cool older sister, Anne Rice is my slightly dodgy aunt, Virginia Woolf is my forbidding, but beloved grandmother, F. Scott Fitzgerald is the black sheep uncle. I could go on, but you get the idea.
- You should see us at parties.
- Have I mentioned that my novel involves a great deal of Greek mythology? Which gives me an excuse to research and re-read them, always fun. Here is a poetry snippet that came to me while I was deeply dreaming about Persephone and Demeter.
Touches tongue, flares
Hot then dark
Burning with the inevitable
Between mother and her.
All is not as it was.
The dread clings to the daughter’s hair like smoke
Her face, the same, and not.
Grief falls on her face in tired lines
Old words impotent
Fall to the floor like eggs
Persephone wants to crawl back into her mother’s eyes,
To speak again with the Mother’s mouth
But the blood red seed has taken root
In the maiden mouth
And sows the Unsayable on her tongue