Thursday, July 2, 2015

She had a skittish soul, that girl with the faraway eyes...

The title is part of the first line of one of my WIPs. Specifically, the memoir I'm muddling through about Castalia, where I worked for thirteen years, and would still be, were that an option. I have so much to say about that period in my life, and yet each sentence is wrought of blood, extricated from my mind like a pale splinter of bone being pulled free from flesh and muscle, each spell spent working on it an exhausting and painful bout of self-inflicted wounds.

I'm in a maelstrom of life right now. Not because bad things are happening, but because many things are happening, but happening around me, while I'm secluded from them, even though I want to be a part of them so very badly. I am trapped inside a glass ball, tossed from wave to wave, caught by the storming winds, and pulled by the currents, yet completely unable to influence my own movements in any manner.

I know, so Eeyore, so emo, such a downer. I don't mean to be, and I'm not depressed.

More, I simply feel disconnected. Friends have books coming out (!) some have second books coming out (!!!) others have gotten agents (!) In the non-writing world cousins have had babies (*squee*) best friends have had babies (*more squeeing*) people have gotten married, other people have died. Everyone is doing things, going places. Meanwhile, I float in my sea-tossed glass, still writing, still fixated on that one goal of attaining an agent or a publishing deal. I don't begrudge the ships of friends, the schooners, and galleons, the sleek yachts or catamarans of other's lives setting off on different courses, but the distance between us has never yawned wider. They ride currents of wind and air, choosing their route with rudders and sails, while I bob at the mercy of the elements, unable to even cobble a ship together, never mind a process of steering it.

My cage is only made of glass. If I struck it, it would shatter. But that would leave me exposed to the sea without any means of staying afloat, so for now, I keep my hands fisted at my sides, hold all my weapons, the chafing frustrations, and irascible truths, that could fracture the insubstantial globe close against me, where they scrape and cut away at my calloused insides, but cannot damage the fragile cage. And I wait, scribbling stories across my own skin, putting them where I can never forget their sound, where they might safely wait until they can finally be recited within the sheltering glow of the campfires of others' minds. Those stories are all that matters, all that will be left once the body they're written on has dried an turned to dust, their passages impermeable to decay.

Should my glass some day finally be thrown onto the rocks of a seaside town, or hauled up in the belly of a fisherman's net, at least there will be stories inside it, if nothing else. Indelible traces of the bones and skin that made them so long before. Stories that will be heard and told and retold and reformed and passed from one mouth to another ear, to be regurgitated yet again in yet a new body. Immortality, by its truest definition, gained by accident through the act of creation.

So, here I bob and sink, and rise and fall, contained, and railing against the sphere around me while at the same time I resist doing anything to escape my cage. For now, I wait. And write. Always, I write.

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