“It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.” ~ Neil Gaiman, Good Omens: the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
“And did I pass?” The face of the old woman on my right was unreadable in the gathering dusk. On my left the younger woman said, “You don’t pass or fail at being a person, dear.” ~ Neil Gaiman
“When writing a novel, that’s pretty much entirely what life turns into: ‘House burned down. Car stolen. Cat exploded. Did 1500 easy words, so all in all it was a pretty good day.” ~ Neil Gaiman
When writing a novel? Ummmm,and just whyyyy have I neglected mine? Hmmmm? It’s not that it is hard work, which it is, it’s simply that I am afraid I will get it wrong! I don’t work from an outline and I don’t know where the story is going. It is in a way much the same as actual life, and as an introvert I must bend this tack I am on, right here and right now, by reminding myself that I am an introvert thus I’d rather be at home alone, and I don’t need to be so danged hard on myself, so no friggin recriminations, k? The cat doesn’t count as “company”; not unless she wants to. Being true to the introvert in me is to be true to much of who I am. It is a critical requirement. So what has that got to do with the novel? I’m not sure I can explain it, but here goes anyway. A couple of months ago, during a massage, I mentioned to the masseuse that I had resumed work on my novel. She read my first book, and liked it, and she knew I’d been remiss toward the manuscript, so she knows the writer in me. Her response to my statement: “I’ve been meaning to ask you about that”. I must have made a little non-lingual mouth noise, like a character in a Japanese anime. Her simple statement rattled me that much. I could have gone all vernacular on her and said “Wait, what?”, but I didn’t. So why the rattling? I actually don’t know. Why not, right? Regardless, I felt moved that she would think of asking at all. At that moment the writer in me felt recognized, and acknowledged as well, so I was a ball of integrity, which is to say that at that moment the writer in me was wide awake and present, and accounted for, and maybe even just a tad flattered. Naked on a table, under a sheet, face down, eyes closed. That is where the writer was and what he was doing. And she, in saying that, became the Muse for me. She was the only clothed one in the room. And at that moment my soul was also naked because the writer was present and aware of what was happening. Does that explain it? I’m not sure it does but I think so. Soooo . . . the next massage is scheduled for next week. I’ve got seven days, and goddess knows I need it. But I maybe kinda oughtta think about re-resuming work on the novel, just in case I forget. I can be true to myself, to my soul, by spending a lot of time alone (which a writer has to do anyway) . . . so why can’t I drop the censorship and let the words flow again? Well, maybe not flow so much as gurgle and spin. The words are all entangled with inertia at the moment, so it will take considerable effort and perseverance to get them moving again. But still and silent rather than moving and flowing, the words are still the writer. Or, geez, I could wait til next week and mention to her that I haven’t been working on the story, but she’s a massage therapist, not my psychotherapist, so I would embarrass myself by . . . oh, never mind. I gotta git out ta feed and water them wacky chickens right now. Got psychotherapy at noon. Hey, maybe I could mention to her that my neck hurts, and we could then talk about that. Not. What I want to explore is the archetypal, Dreamtime level of the issue. It’s got to come from self-knowledge, and the pursuit thereof. And wordless self-awareness as well. Don’tcha know, it never occurred to me to think of and use my nakedness in the presence of another person as a metaphor. Then there’s the Muse, and the Goddess. This is about the Divine feminine, right? Right. Now, I must go address and tend to the chickens. I’ve gone and made myself think again. For weeks it has been all gurgle and spin. Sometimes it feels splendid to think at all. But a dedicated, focused thought beats splendid. It needs no words at all. Not for a writer. Not for me. I’ll be needing’ them words for another thing.
Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.