Every November for the last 5 years I have attempted to write a novel. I have succeeded once. I am still struggling to put this cumbersome piece of fiction into some kind of publishable order. I sat down in front of this computer to try to write another novel, but some other thoughts are overwhelming any attempt at forming a cohesive vision of story or characters. My life is a drama right now. This month I will be attempting to write 50,000 published words. This is for me, but, whoever you are, I welcome you to join me in this experiment. I have no idea how it will turn out. It might get a little scrambled and messy, or boring (I do not live an exciting life), but I promise to make it as real as possible while being gentle with the people I interact with on a daily basis. Some of these words will be about my actual life some will be about ideas that come out of what I am living through but they will all be about who I am now at this moment whenever I am sitting at my computer firing brain cells and moving my fingers, making words into sentences. I will post at the end of each day the words I have worked on for that day, maybe even a few pictures and other odds and ends. It will be good for me to take responsibility for my life and attitude and figure a way forward that makes sense to me. Writing is usually a good way for me to sort things out. Hopefully this exercise will help.
Very soon I will be living on my own in the same town as my wife of 27 years but separately. I cannot tell how this will turn out. I am filled with doubt, but also with wonder at the parts of life that get closed off when choices are made. I have chosen to live with this fascinating woman for all these years. I have chosen to fear her moods and love her victories as my own. When she told me she chose not to be married to me, I felt the bones of my life being ripped away and my life collapse into a shapeless mass of events lacking a framework to hold it up as cohesive body. It still has not completely come back into shape. At this point, I live in a sagging wreck of a collapsed life. I am rebuilding. As I examine the ruins, I find many pieces are warped to fit into the shape of life with another person. I am also finding some pieces I put into storage because I could not find a place for some time or other, but did not want to lose, waiting for a place to fit it in. Now I have a lot of empty space to fill. I am recovering enough from the shock of shifting from living as a part of a relationship to living on my own, and I see I have opportunities to build a brand new life. I will have to rework some old pieces, find some I have put away, and go out in the world to find some new relationships to support me in moving forward.
“I just don’t want to be married anymore,” She said.
It still stings so deeply. Tears form. I don’t know if I will ever be able to accept that I have lived with someone so closely for so long, and I cannot, even after all we have shared, be able to work this situation out so that we both can be happy and support each other as a married couple. Now we will be single people who love each other struggling to figure out this life in our own private spaces. That is one way to look at it.
Every now and then I am visited with brief vision of a live separate from Mary. I expand into my living space which comes alive with art and music. I have always carved out niches to clutter with artifacts and tools. I have lived in the corners of our shared houses finding small spaces to fold creative ideas into.What if my home became my life and anyone who entered would be drawn into my creation. I can’t speak for Mary, but I think she has struggled with the same issues. We have lived trying not to take up too space away from each other. I want space to organize into a working system that can include others as well as express the creative processes that form naturally from my explorations of the world. I am beginning to see possible futures that are not overwhelmed by regret and alienation. This will be new for me as I have always felt apart from the world, and my relationship with Mary is another filter. What if I remove all the filters? What would my life look like if I were totally authentic in my interactions with the world?
It is now 6:22 am. I have been up since just after 4. It is time for coffee and a little more to eat.