Wednesday, November 9, 2011

the watchers

I've been working on my novel every day. I love this. I wake up between 4am and 5am, make a cup of coffee and sit at the computer. I've realized this is the only time of day I'm not disturbed by the phone ringing or by the details of my day pressing in on me. I love watching the sky outside the window go from dark blue to the pale white of morning. And, I love my book. CRAZY! This is a story that has been inside of me for a while, I haven't even been aware of how much I was carrying until I began to set it on to to the page. I have so much learning to do, just like my character. I have so much creating to do but I'm doing it and doing it well. I come to the blank page very morning with confidence. I look to the right of my desk where there are hundreds of books on the bookshelves and think to myself If they could do it so can I.

Over and around my desk I have a collection of dolls and masks. Not creepy dolls that you buy on home shopping networks, but hand-sewn dolls I bought in Mexico about ten years ago. There are several masks from different places in my travels and a few other pieces of art that speak to me This morning as I was struggling with words I looked up and it was almost as if all these dolls and masks were watching me, and I was noticing for the first time. Kind of creepy, but also inspiring. Everything above my desk was made by creative hands, painters, artists, carvers, those who had a gift they wanted to share and I have their gifts over me as I work on mine. I especially love an Aboriginal painting my -boyfriend brought me from Australia. It is of a creation myth, something the artist learned in Dreaming, about the creation of women. And HELLO! Writing about that just helped me figure out a plot point I've been chewing on. Man, I am fucking brilliant sometimes.

My life is quiet these days, routine and lovely. I wake up early, write then go to work. In the afternoons I exercise, make dinner and in the evening I sit around in quiet contemplation, with a glass of red wine and dark chocolate. I go to bed early, thinking about my novel and the characters, the myths they are a part of. I dream deeply, no insomnia or tension in me and when the alarm goes off I'm ready to write.

Last night in my dreams I revisited my recent past and saw had I continued on the same trajectory nothing would have changed and the unclaimed, un-named pain in me would still be manifesting itself through insomnia, eczema, TMJ; all the ways my body was telling me I was suffering needlessly. And yet, nostalgia is a beast and there is one little beast in particular I miss. But, onwards and upwards, and strangely enough, joyfully.

I've started teaching creative writing to teenagers with a couple of friends. Wow. I want to cry after each class because the students are so amazing. They're smart, sharp, funny and they slay me with what they write. Last night I had them write love letters to themselves. Then, if they wanted to, they could read them aloud. Some of the things the kids wrote floored me, I had to admonish myself not to cry, remind myself that I'm not some cheesy teacher in a made-for-tv movie who is saving their lives. But, wow. We're teaching in a homeless shelter downtown, all of the students live there. They are so fucking cool, these kids. So smart. When I leave I'm high from their energy and my face hurts from smiling. As tired as I am after work I can't wait to get to them and see what they have to share.

Loving Andrea Echeverri's new album, Dos. I've always loved her and silly as this may sound, I feel like I've been growing up along with her. In my earlier years of listening to her music, both she and the music and I had sharp edges, were a little aggressive but fun. Now we've all mellowed out and are more in a state of peace with ourselves.

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