Tuesday, November 9, 2010

counting cobwebs

When I was sixteen I wrote a line
about being alone and
life feeling like a set of encyclopedias...
anytime you wanted to remember something,
you just looked it up...

In one more day I'll be sixty
and oddly enough,
life feels exactly like sixteen year old me thought it did...
if I want to remember...

That sentence was part of my first grown up
dramatic, intense, I don't care who reads this
I'm writing it anyway, automatic writing exercise
I wrote for Mrs Bruce's 11th grade Creative Writing Class...

Over the years I have come to realize
how much that writing exercise actually means to me...
It is my touch stone, my talisman,
the essence of me as a writer
as a woman...

In some small way,
every time I write something
I am rewriting that exercise...

Writers find a myriad of ways
to tell the same story,
their story,
strengthening the core
with depth and breath,
colour and style,
and the unique perspective of who they are...

The last few weeks my husband, David,
has had an itch to clean out our garage
and every other space he considers "too cluttered"...
"What are you saving that for" is bouncing off the walls,
smacking me in the head
and making me angry enough scream
and scream and scream and maybe not stop...
But I don't...scream...

Instead, I ask him very sweetly not to do this now...
because of my birthday...
I can't handle it at this moment...

I know that I'm a bit of a pack rat...
OK, maybe a little more than that...

I'm just already busy enough...
And I'm vulnerable and fragile and emotional...
I don't want to see all my stuff
laid out like an offering to some other worldly creature
or surrounding me like my life,
"The Ultimate Garage Sale"

I've been mentally cleaning house...
sorting thru my set of encyclopedias...
wondering, pondering, remembering...
and doing the actual and the mental cleaning
at the same time,
that is simply too much to bear...

I feel like we're living in two different dimensions...
David walks by me,
talks to me, I even answer
but there's a curious distance between us
I'm floating on the edge of a softly illuminated space
that exists on a scrap of fragile parchment
inside my head in an old set of books
that no one else has ever read...

David has almost finished his cleaning project
and though I'm still sort of, kind of, maybe,
a little bit mad, I also don't seem to care as much...

Everything matters, nothing matters very much...

I can't seem to put those encyclopedias down yet...
All the memories keep reverberating, resonating,
haunting, taunting, teasing and pleasing me...

This is the last thing I wrote in my writing exercise...
The world is so big and I'm so small in it.
One day I want to feel as big as the world,
I can't say just why, but I do!

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