When I began to write some million years ago I did not realize that I was being pulled into a dimension different from the one where I lived most of my everyday life. In this new world I found evolution.
At first it was a childish world that looked very much like my own, but then it became more complex as I learned how to read the landscape of my own writing. It was not just a romance or a mystery. There were questions growing there like exotic plants. I could not evict them from my gardens, but had to learn to nurture them and see which were toxic and which propelled their perfumes into hours of pleasure.
I found dragons friendly and unfriendly. I found fears in the owls that winged away through the wisdom of time. And sometimes I found myself in that dark wood where Dante was made to stand in a crossroads of his life.
Writing is both blessing and curse.
As we get older we often understand the subtleties that are part of the world. Syrupy phrases no longer delight us. Birthday cards with angels and pink backgrounds make us cringe. We become officially cynics.
I don’t think cynicism is a bad trait. It helps shine a rather bright spotlight on life itself, showing us both flaws and virtues. I was not born a cynic. I was not even born a realist. I desired pleasure and laughter, not pain. I searched for it in stories and situations that now only annoy me.
Perhaps like the wrinkles the years have bestowed upon me, cynicism is inevitable. If so, bring it on. I am glad to experience life in all its personas.
We are always in a transitional universe. Writers know this. I was cheered to read Chekov write that once we finish something we should cross out both the first sentence and the last sentence. These are the lies we tell about beginnings and endings. The truth is somewhere inbetwen in the story that must go on even when the writer has finished it.
I just saw a Hi-Def live performance of THE CHERRY ORCHARD by the Moscow Art Theatre. I studied under one of the members from years ago when I was but a young girl in New York City. What a joy to see all the work those actors put into this performance….or not to see it because it was made to seem (even with minimalist scenery) like Life was unfolding in front of us. This is seamless between playwright, director and cast. This kind of work we never see here now. Although we never saw a cherry tree on stage, we saw it through the eyes of the actors. It is where I hope to be one day….in a cast in a play that sings in our blood, not just our immediate appetites.
We are living in a world where noise is valued over silence. Trump likes to make a great big noise. I prefer not to sound out until I can’t help myself. These last few weeks have been noisy. Can I even sigh to join in all the noise? I feel the Silent Scream may be the most appropriate.
My husband came in to tell me we have a mouse living in our car which is parked in our sub-zero garage. I can’t fault the mouse for trying to find a way to a hot engine (no longer hot), but they stupidly eat their way through wires. I need that car to function by the end of the week. Like the mouse I am not enamored of the cold that reduces us to zero in our body and soul. It is a hard time when temperature drops . I lived in London for three years in the 60s without anything resembling heat. I understood why Dickens named a book BLEAK HOUSE, Now that I am old and not in great shape I value the ability to have and to pay for heating oil and warm coats and the like. People in London kept telling me we were being tested. That their lives were valued by their ability to endure. I don’t want to endure. I want to excel and to excite and to be excited. If there is a kindly God or Goddess, He/She will have warm breath, a warm heart, and a warmer hand to extend to us.
Here we go again, slamming the door on one year and opening it on another. A long series of years in my case. A charcoal landscape from my window shows winter’s own depression. I have, however, things to do and places to see. Scotland is already there in the Spring. The heather on the hill is already rooting the imagination. If we could not find the way out of this year, it would be a pity beyond our own . The world waits for the opening doors and the closing ones.