Forget whenever the feeling strikes me when I finish a book, but I have not started yet. This limbo between the books is, for me , as a long, slow leaching of color from the world. A steady decline in mood and connection with the universe, until one day I wake up and I do not know who they are.
We are always between things. We walk or drive or take the bus from point to point B. Our mind wanders . We lose sight of this .
Virginia Woolf called ” cotton wool ” . As in most of our daily existence is spent going from one thing to another . Muffled. Pending . In limbo – leaving the past behind him or leaning toward the future. The real moment of arrival, Woolf called ” moments of being.” These are the times when we feel really and truly alive.
We do not want more of these ? I would like to do whenever a moment of being.
As a writer, how they learned about myself is through the written word . The ways in which they are able to access any understanding of what makes me tick , how to see the world around me, what I feel, what I know , it is through the daily practice of dealing with the page. The grappling itself is the point. Ideally, something comes along that at the end of grappling . Each novel, essay , memoir story begins with that dip , which releases this fall is not known. Let’s start with the Strait of ideas , a flickering image , a phrase, just out of our reach , and we try to catch it by sitting with the page and see what emerges.
When I have engaged in this process, a depression settles. This time , I think, this time is different . Firmament , convinced that my imagination took leave of me. You will never become obsessed with a character or a story again. My mind starts to spin all sorts of stories – and not the good kind of stories. I feel as though I split in two , and a part of me is on a small boat without oars , drifting slowly towards the sea, carried by the tide, looking at the ‘ other part of me standing on the shore , watching. Writing brings together these two aspects of my nature. Weaving the observer , the narrator , the thinker , a dreamer , a woman. He shuts up my demons put to good use.
As I write this, I am in my studio. A late afternoon coffee is growing cold on my desk. The Sun is setting outside my window . But this – this small act of thinking in the Middle – brings me back to myself . My vision becomes acute . I’m seeing . I’m not going to drift aimlessly. The room , the view , sharpen , is in focus. My inner life is increased once again became known to me.
You know those lists of how much time we spend in the course of a lifetime, brushing your teeth or taking out the trash or talk on the phone or go shopping ? I want to reduce the time I spend in between. As Woolf’s batting , the middle way is a muffled , absorbing site . And ‘ soul- erosion.
You would think that could be a time of gestation – the roots begin to form under the frozen ground – . But it would be wrong
Gestation real it just so happens on the page. Fingers of a writer moves along a keyboard , a pen to scratch the words. The next word , then the next . And the next . And suddenly , the sky lights up. The next day I called. The simple act elusive . The practice itself, the very point of the thing and suddenly, in the middle is revealed for what it really is.