Monday, July 11, 2005

Yes, I'm alive! Barely. I still feel just this side of rotten, and my body is telling me that I mustn't push it, but I have a clear enough head to think somewhat straight, or at an angle that can be understood.

Beginning of the End
The novel is progressing. What always happens to me as I'm writing is that I think I have so many pages left to go, and as I really begin the final half, I realize that no, I have far less to go than I realize and that I'm just putting off the ending, that in some way I don't want to finish it, don't want to let go of my characters or have to do the work of wrapping things up. So it looks as though I'm really in the home stretch of this first draft, which I began thinking about almost two years ago, and writing a year ago. There is much that will have to be done to it, but I'm feeling good about what stands as a first draft. It's a relief, quite honestly, to not be writing stories.

It Isn't Easy Owning Green
As the first edible greenbeans and tomatoes are ripening on the vine, and I've eaten a number of zucchini and lemon cucumbers from my own trial garden, and as I suddenly have a huge, keening desire for vast expanses of green, a longing is rising in me for my own little stretch of land. Sadly, I don't see how that can be here, in Northern California, where the median price of homes--in my county--is now $600,000. Who can live here, that is, own here, anymore? Not us. Not even us when our incomes rise as they are likely to do in the next year. So naturally this has us wondering, though we're far from plan-making. Where in the world could two born and raised Californians be happy, afford it and not have to live in utter terror that our liberal attitudes might be found out and used against us? I can think of a few places, and who knows what will happen after this summer. Both of us are post-graduate studies. E. is a hair's breath away from being licensed, and though I want to do much more with the current projects in my life, I'm essentially already living the life I want to live. I just want more of it, with less stress-filled moments. I'm not even ashamed any more of what I want. I want comfort, not excess. I want to feel secure, not unreasonably prepared. I want to keep these stretches of free time, time for not only my creative life, but for E. and I to spend just being.

Let it Be
That's another concept I think a lot about. Being sick forces me to just be. I couldn't read, I couldn't hold a conversation, I couldn't even watch tv for my sickest days. I slept or lay there musing. And I have a tendency at the end of a few days of sickness to feel as though I wasted time, but I'm starting to wonder if in fact those pockets of downtime don't provide something else, a window in which the answers to one's requests of the universe can come in without the ego and the personality conspiring to resist. It's like meditation--a time when there are no obstructions between oneself and everything else; everything is flow, is breath. So now I'm grateful that I was felled by some virus.

Ad Nauseum
I spent so much both physically and emotionally while I was away. I'm such an emotionally driven person, a person who has a hard time separating myself from my environment. Changes in my environment directly manifest in my body, through the vehicle of my emotions. I felt adrenalized, sad and elated at the same time; I was sleepless, drank too much, stood next to smokers...all of this is a perfect recipe for someone like me to fall to pieces the way I did. I just needed time to regenerate, and so I've had that.

So now what? Well, yes, I seem to have gone through a slight transformation, or better yet, am in the process of one. I was sad to find that the caterpillar who was becoming a butterfly or moth on one of my zucchini's never made it out of his cocoon, but dried up and died. This made me very sad at first, but a garden is a small patch of life and death. The only death I do not cry over is that of the snails. They are so pernicious and slimy. It's hard to love anything slimy.



At 6:46 PM, Blogger Patry Francis said...

Just wandered here somehow and enjoyed reading your post--especially the part about writing your novel. I have two novels in progress, but lately all I want to do is blog. Summer vacation, maybe?


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