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Showing posts from January, 2019

Partaking of the Fruit

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What I most struggle with in creative writing is that there are some ideas that just feel like they belong in the ether, in the natural born clouds. They aren’t meant to be pinned down, and every time I try to pin them down into a practical form on a page, I wound them a little bit, and must throw them back up into the ether for repair, to restore their more nebulous characteristics. This content isn’t supposed to have legs and weight, and to make noise when it walks, or to have such things as a name and defining characteristics. Rather, just whiffs of possibility that hint at an undercurrent of parallel worlds so vast and amazing as to put any Tolkien or Rowling to shame. Its just supposed to hang there, ripe for plucking, but the plucker beware. The fruit bruises easily.

And yet, there are those books that seem to pin down something that doesn’t maim the central cast of characters, and in fact broadens the material into something that changes al…

Storyholder

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I’m standing on a cliff overlooking the water’s edge. The sky is present, hanging there in its vastness, holding this moment with symphonic strains of gray and electric buzz. Watching, suspended, sensing.

I see to both sides of me vast white cliffs carved out by relentless grasping of the ocean extending down the coastline.

The earth where I am standing up above gives just the right yield and welcome, with its soft grass and dainty yellow flowers, falsely giving the impression of delicacy, when anyone can see that they are hardy to withstand the harshness of forces here.

There is an undeniable tightness of gravity here, pinning me down, tugging at me, slowing down my step. I feel as if this force could just sweep me away with the littlest of a flick, like an ant off the table. It screams danger while it beckons.

My life had been recently taking on new grander design dimensions when this place and I met. Dating a new man, after being a single mom for…

Inhospitable Beauty

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It was at the Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone national park that I heard the siren call. My husband and I were walking on boardwalks constructed to lead us around thermal geological sites. We were chatting amicably about our trip, and how well our trip had all been falling into place.

I felt an inward tug get stronger and gravity pulling down right through my center. As we walked it became weightier and caused me to toggle between two worlds: the one where I was doing the Yellowstone tourist thing, and the other, where the landscape was reaching out, beckoning for me, pulling me down into its underworld.

It was a strange call, spectral, because it seemed to come from a Hellish place. Perhaps from Persephone, herself, held prisoner under the earth’s crust for so long, she’d become it. I could imagine her skin, the pale, fragile crust ready to give way beneath my feet, the magma of her torment less that 15 miles deep from where we were standing, pushing up…

I want to remind me...

My thoughts drift back to when I was a child. I had a little toy kitchen sink and stove, no nouveau riche set, à la pottery barn, but very basic and snap together. It was set up in the unfinished basement on top of orange Muppet shag rugs that covered some of the cold concrete. There was a giant TV that looked like it had been built in a giant dresser. One top of its console lifted to play vinyl records and the other to play LP’s. Look it up.

My kitchen was set up in the corner by the window well, where I could see cobwebs and spiders filtering the outside light shining through.

I don’t remember playing much as a kid, but I do remember cleaning up the toys stored in giant Tang cans down there--organizing and reorganizing them at my mom's bidding, to rest the perfectly sorted toys in glowing metallic green cylinders, on pastel yellow metal shelves, the quiet yellow that sort of softened the Muppet rug domination, but added a utilitarian feel to the unfinished basement. I should me…