Monday, May 29, 2006

decoration day

A long weekend of nothing. I love nothing. I'm good at it, have had plenty of practice. I am meeting with an editor friend this morning and hope to uncover the origins of my writing discontent. She may not know this, but I am. I know it was always good to connect with other writers before and she is one. Just published another book on fiction writing. Due to my near-death-experience, which we will heretofore refer to as my NDE, I am invigorized, as those things are prone to get you. I am common.

But alive.

I hate writing about writing, but here goes.

I live in a house with other people and cannon find sustained time or space. It is not their fault--as much as it would delight me if the problem were that simple. It is logistic. It takes me four pages of crap before I even begin to hit my stride, as these pages prove beyond doubt, and that takes time, and they use the computer. So, do I get my own computer? A simple fix, but the house is small and the same troubles apply. Do I learn to write in the basement? Its coming along -- kind of an open and more inviting space -- do I write amid the camping gear to the sounds of the tumbling dryer? Which reminds me, I need to put the clothes in the dryer.

And a. will say, "Fuck the clothes. Write." and she is absolutely correct. I will. But I am a better housekeeper than I used to be, and it is not as easy to fuck it all off. I have witnesses, remember?

So I am writing. And the good and the bad thing about a blog is that it does maintain the flow-- does hold that energy. But it is also like a steam vent for a volcano. It never really blows because of the continual release. Not that my productivity ever reached volcanic levels... but the metaphor is the thing.

I can't seem to get next to a storyline. They all seem idiotic. And I am a fiction writer. I am also a poet, but poetry, while rich, is a vent. Do I write about all of the crazy people I've cared for? One? Do I travel back down one of the dark alleys I've been down and illuminate the rubble for the sake of posterity? Do I -- gasp -- make something up? I've said many times, I'm not a writer, I'm a liar.

So, my coffee is ready: french press with tons of cream and it is Memorial Day.

Used to be that Memorial Day was called Decoration Day. At the nursing home a bus would come to take people out to the cemeteries, bouquets of picked or purchased flowers, some with flags, some not so patriotic, just remembered. I don't think it was about memorializing only the war dead. It was celebratory. It was the reason for family plots. Nowadays you'd have to have to spend days finding the various cemeteries my family is buried in. My father is in Coosbay, brother and mother in Eagle Point, one brother floating eternally down the Applegate River where we played as children. He wanted to be sprinkled in the Rogue River, but my mother was afraid of the undertows. I didn't have the heart to point out that he wouldn't drown. A mother shouldn't have to bury her children.

Decoration Day. It was a nobler time and I'm not sure why. Maybe because it was before the Gong Show and the end of civilization as we know it.

1 comment:

L. said...

yep; paranoia DOES strike deep. makes ya feel like Somebody, don't' it; or at least, the friend or relative of Somebody.