Friday, January 27, 2012
Writing about writing
Objects spark single thoughts that turn into stories. The sweater on the ground, Isabel gave it to me long ago when we shared a converted barn in the Sicilian countryside. She washed it and gave it to me as a gift, it was the first time I wore green. I loved it. I wore it until I washed it in hot water and shrunk it down to a baby size, but I still carry it around.
There is a scrawled note hiding on the edge of my desk. I wrote it yesterday when I was groggy with sleep, the message was the only thing that kept me from crawling back into bed. These are objects that I want to write about, that I could spend the next lifetime weaving into interlocking tales that mingle with new worlds of understanding.
Fingers are positioned on the keyboard awaiting electric messages from my brain, but what if I could turn the fingers into the brain? This brain is a few seconds behind.
This is the tail and we have come to take over. No more agonizing, these fingers are alive, not moving from the brain but from that deeper voice that lives in the folds of the body, in between the finger nail and the resting place where the earth lies. That little space between order and chaos, that widening spot, ever expanding.
These are the fingers, the tail, moving across the screen. My eyes are almost closed, the fingers move, let them move, dance, what words does the tail have to write now?
The fingers aim to keep up, don’t let the head get in the way. It wants to think, agonize. What will they all think of me?
No, this text will not be like that. We are not writing for prizes. Here. We are not hoping someone will fuck us for these words. We are fucking with these words. Now. Right now.
Universe, it's ok, open up. These words are coming straight from the tail, no flourishes to coat the spinning movements.
I am writing about writing. I am writing about these fingers on the keyboard. My fingers moving faster than I have ever seen. I watch, detached, watching the body take over. I have a seat like a woman in a box office at the opera, I watch the body go.
I am writing about writing, and writing about writing does not win awards, but I am moving and the experiment goes on without permission.
Move aside to let the body dance. I am so tired, it moves without me. I take a slow breath in, narrating the space in time that I occupy.
The fan is spinning constantly, drowning out the footsteps above. There is the heavy scent of smoke outside seeping in through the holes in the roof.
Where is the fire? The sirens? I check outside and then write about writing. Again.
My eyes are closing. My body is almost asleep, it goes faster than it ever has, there are typos and types and I think about the green sweater, how she folded it all up and came to me. We stood in the hallway under a bright light, a bare bulb, all the Sicilian hills covered by the absent sun, the volcano scattering ash and red fire outside the window.
It was the first time I ever wore green. She gave me the algae of the sea and I amassed a collection of turquoise and blue and green and all the colors of the mermaid palette.
Eyes squinting, straining to see the thread to weave a tale. Nothing is there, but then it comes, a rainbow of words that ekes out its breath on the back of a mouse’s tale. Two words, matched only by language.
Come to me, you rainbow, let me take you to where the story begins, where I think it begins. I can only see as far as the light shines, other worlds and times are left in the shadows of this planet.
This is where I think it begins, at the birth of a new sun, a son. A sun that shines on, giving its dark parts to the gods and its light to the mortals that will one day cause havoc.
Nothing is coming to me! Everything comes. Dry eyes are stinging, pupils dilating to adjust to the brightness of the screen at one in the morning. It’s too bright.
But thoughts on Mondays in the sun come to me, I think of the story started long ago, so long I almost forgot about it. And then there I was.
I should get up. My body wants to stay in place, the pillow, a cloud of delusion. But I can hear something urging me up, the moment is passing, soon it will be a memory. What could have been written, what might have come out from the space between thought and fingers and feelings, from the hidden tube that links all of the universe.
One hit, one body, keyboard and screen.
The words flow, but my mind can stop them up like an old plastic stopper in an bathtub. Thoughts of recognition, awards, competition, oh those thoughts will stop this flow, stop it dead.
The fingers keep moving, my right hand is itchy, stinging, yes, the habits of the body will stop these words too. Not just ego, for if that does not work they will send the itches, the bitches.
Brilliant ideas are few and far between, but the words come out anyway. Brilliance will be judged by the few who read this. The mouse and its rainbow tail.
I write about writing, write about the words coming, write about the fingers and my eyes that are shutting and the body that longs to itch or go back to the pillow. This is a mouse’s tale, a mouse’s tail.
What you are reading is the middle of the story, there was a beginning, a place where the light does not, cannot, reach, a place not even I can see, me the teller of this tale.
There will be an end, an end of the page, my death, the end of these words. But the story will continue. One day a star will blink and she will pass me the sweater. It was the first time I ever wore green.