Monday, November 7, 2011

(un)ravelling

Back on the front line again - fearless on the battlefield. Meaning that I have been laid up and mostly in bed. This is when we (pwme) have to be brave and free ourselves from fear, become incredibly zen and dispassionate about the hours and days that slip into a continuum and there is no telling how long this will last - it might be a week or several months. I walked a short distance along the path by the golf course that leads into the forest. A small moment of overreaching craziness when I was tempted to keep walking, it would have been downhill for a stretch before the uphill climb into forest proper, and then on and on with the possibility of getting lost. Everyone here seems to have a story about getting lost in the forest. But I walked back the way I came, before the rain came down, before I landed myself in a spot where coming back would be an endless uphill slog, before a pointless unravelling.

I feel an analogy coming on - don't you?

I have wandered too far from my story again - the one I should have been working on had I not gone down with this. Story never cares about reasons and excuses for not writing, however justified they might be. Story fleshes out and becomes real when you give it energy and attention and becomes pale and ghostly when you leave it alone for too long. The plot unravels. Getting back is an uphill climb that requires real, physical effort. And today was just weird, hard to pin down: all day waiting for the vet to call back because Cat of Signs was hyperventilating last night; then today she wandered out for an unusually long time and I had thoughts of her perhaps losing her breath again, breathing her last, without the strength to get back. I wandered around and into the neighbour's garden bleating her name. She was fine, scratching her claws on a wooden post. A man came to look at a couple of things that need doing, one of them being to properly lag the loft so the bedrooms are warmer when the cold comes. But he gave me the strangest look as he came in, as though he knew me from some previous and deeply troubling incarnation. Mr. Signs ushered him upstairs and they spoke of this and that. On the way out he gave me the same look, though I smiled nicely and did a faultless hello/goodbye. Trying to think where on earth I might have met him. Perhaps he was once a student of mine and I said something about his work that he didn't like? No, I would remember. Then laptop began to malfunction and made everything look like hieroglyphics, and it was as though I stared at a wall and could not read the Signs. It went on like that for an hour or so, and then righted itself. Sometimes things just do, and leaving things alone to sort themselves out is the best way.

While tapping out this post, a whole chunk of it began to unravel and delete itself. I feel another analogy coming on.

8 comments:

Wendy said...

I don't know where it came from but I always remember the line that 'a work of art dies and comes to life many times in its creation.' Yours will wait patiently for you to re-animate it when you are able. Thinking of you in the woods.

belinda whitworth said...

Wonderful writing and so sorry to hear you're poorly again.

Reading the Signs said...

Wendy,, that's good to hear.

Belinda Thank you - c'est la vie M.E

Anna MR said...

Oftentimes I think your blog posts are at least as worthy as a novel. This is one of them. Who says a piece of writing has to be long to say much, to be poignant and beautiful?

But I do understand it must feel frustrating when a novel goes cold on you. I am choosing to believe what Wendy up there says about it just patiently waiting for your re-animating it. I think she sounds like she's right.

x

Reading the Signs said...

Anna, awww thanks :) - and Wendy does know of what she speaks, yes.

But a novel, even a short one, is a sustained piece of work. How to stay with it is one of the challenges. It's a journey, really. I think one has to love the process itself to do it. And I do - when given a chance to get on with it.

Fire Bird said...

patience patience and more patience - not even easy to type....

WV - pedallsh

it's me :-) said...

Telling you a tale to hopefully cheer you up - not that it's directly related to your cooling-novel predicament. But one of my favourite contemporary Finnish authors Pirkko Saisio describes, in the preface to one of her books, how as she had quite finished writing the novel and went to do something with it on her computer, the document went black so the letters wouldn't show. Her computer asked "remove black?" and she clicked yes - to find every word she'd written disappeared. The whole lot. She closed her computer and started writing the thing all over again the next day.

The book is brilliant. It's likely better for the complete rewrite, too (an opinion I believe shared by the author). Sadly, I could find no translations of that one - they probably don't exist. But please find enclosed a link to an excerpt from one of her other novels. Hope you enjoy...

x

Reading the Signs said...

I love that story, it's you - dreadful as it is, the thought of losing an entire draft (can imagine myself doing something like that).

I am actually fairly accepting (as far as that's possible) of this state of affairs with me and my Condition +writing. It's just ongoing, really, the situation with writing and health.