To Reach The Green Light At The End Of The Pier
FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES: "We are saving ourselves through the words," says Eleanor, the leading lady of a novel-in-progress. This exploration into the creative process -- which includes plenty of distractions/tangents /thoughts & rants by Eleanor, her Biographer, and selected guest artists -- will continue until Eleanor is certain her story is "right." (But we dare not jump ahead of ourselves.)
There will be the occasional typo (as Eleanor points out), and much of this is intended to be "original draft" -- what comes out of our mouths (heads) first, and then set down in that order. Not all of it will be included in the novel, but all of it is happening in real time.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
... If you're willing to lay down everything for the cause:
Life excerpt, unfinished,
by Geoff Schutt
I’m here to tell you something that maybe you don’t want to hear. Everything you feel –- what you think you’re feeling, no matter how intense the feelings, whether they’re feelings of love or hate, or happiness or depression, or anger, or even forgiveness –- everything needs to be compared. You are not allowed to simply feel. It is not acceptable for you to take what you feel at face or gut value. When you are young, perhaps, you can feel and have it be truth without question –- love, happiness, anger, hatred. You don’t know enough of the world outside of your little box that is you and your family to see otherwise. Later, you need comparison. How much you’ve experienced in life, well, it does make a difference. It allows for comparison. So what you feel, for example, if you think you love that person who’s so perfect right now, you have to remember the other people you’ve loved, and each one of them is going to be different, so it takes some time to sort out these feelings, these comparisons. I will tell you that I believe in love at first sight. I do. But you have to stop the picture right then, the second I believe this, because anything afterward is not going to be as good, and never can be. It can be good, but in a different way. Take the moments, preserve them. Feel – and then stop. Just turn the other cheek, so you can keep the feeling as it was. There will be nothing to diminish it. If you choose to continue, then you must compare. Let me count the ways I love thee as compared to how I have loved before. It needs to be compared. But there’s good news at the end of this rainbow, because if what you have –- what you do feel –- survives the test of comparison, if it is better than anything else, if you have enough experience to make it so, then you’d better stake your life on it. You trap that feeling the same way you’d trap a bear. You don’t let it go. Whatever else happens, you close your eyes and you know, I mean you have to know, as in all capital letters: YOU KNOW. You know that this is it. Love, hate, doesn’t matter. Before you cross the line and make the next move, toward love or hate, just to use those two as examples, you’d better be sure you’re being true not only to what you feel, but also, to yourself. You come first. And if you don’t come first, how well can you really love another person? Or hate another person? Comparison shopping is what it is – you find the best deal, and then, you can’t ever look back. The second you allow your eyes to wander, you’ve lost a part of it. Like an ice sculpture, slowly melting. Don’t let the feeling go. All I am saying is, do your research, and in this case, the way to do your research is by looking deeply into your own self. If you don’t have enough inside, you need to do some more shopping. Apples or bananas – they’re both good for you, but one is red and the other is yellow, and they taste different, and you like one better than the other. Substitute whatever you wish. But please, please do your homework. And then, if you like the apple best of all, don’t let anything stand in your way of getting it. Break every law that would prevent you from reaching it. Break your own heart if you need to, because in the end, it’s worth what you have to give up for that apple. I don’t need to know anything else. I’ve done my comparisons. And one other thing –- you are allowed to change. Contingent on this, that your direction is clear. Look after yourself. Make it good. If you stumble, someone will be there to catch you as you fall. That’s not magic. It’s life and it’s love and it’s so real you can put your fingers around it, and feel it physically, from the inside to the outside. You feel it. This is a recipe, yes. And this is one of those recipes where you need to follow the instructions absolutely. People make things so rough on themselves, because they don’t follow the recipe. They add in substitutions, when they should know better. I know this, because I tried substitutions. Maybe not on purpose, but that doesn’t make a shit's worth of difference. You can regret all you want, feel guilty, whatever your excuse or way to make it work out right in your head is –- you don’t want to regret or feel guilty, or whatever. Stick to the recipe, once you’ve found it, and done your research. Stick to it, and then you can fight for it with your life, because you know it’s worth the fight. That’s all I’m really saying, boiled down to a sentence. Make sure what you’re fighting for is worth the fight. If it is, you have to go all the way. You owe this not only to yourself, but also to everybody else involved. At this juncture, mistakes can be overlooked, forgiveness can be given, but unless you go all the way, whatever you end up with will be lacking in something. And that something might be what comes back to haunt you later. Nobody wants to be haunted. Go all the way. With everything. You have more strength than you realize. If you’re willing to lay down everything for the cause, nothing in this world can or will stop you.
ELEANOR says: "Please turn the page. Keep reading."
For more of Eleanor and her Biographer -- as well as the work of our many guest artists -- check out the older postings. "Everything is part of the process, and the process is the journey," Eleanor says.