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.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
"Sometimes even inside our own heads, we make typos," Eleanor says.*
She woke up early that day, and before her father knew she'd left the house, she was already a mile away, walking. Today was a day of embodiment. There was a world full of misplaced lives inside her head, and all around her as well -- a kind of misplaced life humidity so thick you can choke on it, breathe it in deeply and too fast, too all-at-once, choking on thoughts and dreams and to-do lists and loves and hates and did I forget to turn off the gas on the stove. During this walk at least, her body contained every single last missed connection from every last one of the latest styles and fads: the missed connections on purpose and the brokenhearted missed connections. It happened this way sometimes. As in, the answer comes first, like the TV show "Jeopardy," and then you spend way too much time figuring out what the original question was. Well, sometimes you miss what you never realized was there in the first place, you know?
She wanted some stranger to show up, out of nowhere, and take her hand, and walk with her. They wouldn't have to speak, not at all. In doing so, she could feel the touch of this other human being, this kind of closeness. The best thing of all was how the silence would protect her illusion, who she was, and perhaps, how missed she was (by somebody, she had to be missed -- it didn't make sense any other way), or how misplaced she was -- and not the embodiment of everyone else at all, not the whole wide big world, but one tiny misplaced life, one person, that's all -- one person. Eleanor Spain.
These other people seemed to know the destinations, and in such a hurry, too. They bumped into her. They made her feel part of a pinball machine. But the point was, she decided, the point remained, she decided -- this kind of reality at least, she decided -- was that as long as she kept moving -- well, point being, and scratch most of the rest of that thought -- she was alive, and there wouldn't be another girl to be the pinball, to replace her. If none of this made any sense to anyone else, that was okay too.
Well, okay, easy enough to say that was okay too. Yes, easy enough. But it would be nice to have maybe one person make some noise through the silence, and perhaps scream, and perhaps do something that was out of the ordinary and not what anyone else would do, but just like -- feeling. Really feeling. It could be one misplaced life, in addition to her own, and it could be like all of those missed connections people talk about in airy, what-if tones. Or the missed connection that defined all the rest -- the missing link of missed connections, if you wanted to see it in this way. As in, misplaced and missed aren't really so far apart from each other.
Which is the whole thing about connections (or connecting), missed or not, misplaced or not. Missed connections don't just happen by accident. There are no accidents, or maybe everything is an accident. It's like reading a long story, and then forgetting it, except for a typo, a mistake. This, she thought, was truth. That boiled down to almost nothing, your life can be one big typo if there's no spell check, and that's what people will remember.
"I wish I could write a beautiful book to break those hearts that are soon to cease to exist: a book of faith and small neat worlds and of people who live by the philosophies of popular songs." -- Zelda Fitzgerald
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.