Thursday, September 9, 2021

Let It Be

Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.


I've been trying to spend more time and energy writing. After months of this, I am now beginning to see that the algebraic formula for this is x < or =  0, when x is defined as creative writing.

I have excelled at all sorts of other creativities. I have cooked up some genuinely excellent meals, and shared them enthusiastically with friends. I've done some fun and satisfying watercolors recently

and have lots more in mind.  Those paintings are often inspired by the natural world around me, and of the many many photographs I have taken of that world.

I'll stay up late, wake up early, lean out windows, hike high, kneel low to get the shot I want. 

Sometimes, it turns out to be just right. All the while, I continue mulling over and not getting anywhere with my writing

I have also been gardening up a storm, and have gotten back into propagating in a big way. As always, the work is hard and hot, but the rewards are both instant and ongoing.                                           
There's plenty of really good time to ponder ideas, too. But it seems that being sweaty and dirty and outside most of the day has also provided me with the excuse to not be writing....again.

When writing my blogs, I like to find little pieces of everyday life that strike me as worthy of a few words. I can usually put together a piece without too much trouble, then edit and edit and edit once I have the main pieces of the puzzle in place. I have had just such an idea from real life in my head for over ten years, but I wanted to write it as a longer piece "when I had time". I hoped that as I worked on it, I would figure out how to maneuver the pieces into a picture that made sense. But I am now bound to say, I am stuck.

 You see, the story is a series of facts that send the plot very clearly into one direction- all generous, warm, kind, nourishing. Then out of nowhere, without a hint, absent any clue, it crashes into a crushingly abrupt and sad end. I've spent hours, days, weeks researching the main topics- Catholicism, the mortuary business, depression, family loyalties, care giving, retirement. I've talked to others who know the story in case they can turn over a few rocks hiding something. I can't find that "Aha" moment that explains it all.

I like things that make sense. I have taken the facts and turned them inside out to look for connections. I have approached them as if the end were the beginning. I've even considered whether I could make this a sci-fi story, with everything turning out of bounds and unnatural. Could I invent all sorts of psychological details to cram in that could make the bare bones flesh out correctly; could I change the main character to fit the outcome? None of these options worked. I need the plot, the character, the setting to pave the way to the end. But it was the end, after all, I could not reconcile.

 I suppose I can say that I have learned something about telling a story, even as it remains untold. I have explored exercises that one might employ in such a composition. I've done the research, I've made outlines, I've manipulated the various parts of the story, written brief sketches. Now I have to do the hardest part- I have to acknowledge that this is a real life story I can't change. Every day I struggle with trying to make it different is a day I can't mourn and move on. So, here I am, back on the blog, conceding my loss and liberating my imagination. If all goes well, I can start soon on my short story idea exercises with a little more abandon, and with a little less load.


When the spent sun throws up its rays on cloud
And goes down burning into the gulf below,
No voice in nature is heard to cry aloud
At what has happened. Birds, at least must know
It is the change to darkness in the sky.
Murmuring something quiet in her breast,
One bird begins to close a faded eye;
Or overtaken too far from his nest,
Hurrying low above the grove, some waif
Swoops just in time to his remembered tree.
At most he thinks or twitters softly, 'Safe!
Now let the night be dark for all of me.
Let the night be too dark for me to see
 Into the future. Let what will be, be.' 


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