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.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Richard Wright & Imagination
"The artist must bow to the monster of his own imagination."
-- Richard Wright, born on Sept. 4, 1908
Eleanor lights a birthday candle and watches it flicker in that slight moment between the darkest night and dawn. The crickets are singing outside. The Spirit House is lit up and the characters are still awake, dancing (a waltz, which is somehow calming) into the new day. A train approaches from somewhere in the distance. We don't even know where the train tracks are, but we can hear the train as it travels by, toward somewhere else in the distance. The birthday candle's flame goes wildly to the left, and then the right, as the train passes, and maybe it's closer than we think. Even the characters stop their waltz to listen. The breeze is now on our faces. The dawn is being to slap our cheeks, to say, this is my turn, my turn, my turn, but the darkest night doesn't give in so easily.
"We are going to find one small amazing something today," Eleanor says quietly.
She holds the candle high. "Happy Birthday, Richard Wright," she says. "I am imagination, but I am somebody else's imagination, so I bow to you." Eleanor lowers the candle, closes her eyes and blows on the flame, makes a wish.
That moment, this moment, between the darkest night and dawn -- it's like the nape of a beautiful woman's neck. You would like to kiss it (your first instinct), but instead, you stand back and focus, for as long as you can. A kiss would be an intrusion and ruin everything. You nod your head as the dawn turns your direction, at the same second the darkest night turns just a bit (a tiny bit) brighter. It's a relay race, done in slow motion, and the day has now taken the wand. The train will be back tomorrow, on the same schedule. If you're a tick-tock too late, you'll miss it, and that would be a shame.
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.