National Novel Writing Month started yesterday and once again I am on board. I am not at all sure where this novel is headed. I have a vague cast of characters loosely organized tossed out like fortunetellers bones and stones. They are rattling about in my head without a lot of planning for structure. Here is the first little bit written last night.
The rain is never ending here and falls without any enthusiasm, limply dropping from the pallid sky. I look out my back window at the bare arms of leafless tree in the courtyard partially obscuring the bright blue of my neighbor’s door across the way. Everything here is gaily painted but a little faded and chipped like me. Not that I am painted. If I were I would be in need of touching up here and there. The drizzle of rain washes the colors to gray or only seemingly. I usually do not mind the rain, a good excuse not to go out and join in the world’s busyness. I have spent many happy hours at my little tasks with the rains patter at my window and the puddles in the parking lot.I am alone, finally, after weeks of work and friends, with space to put all the new and old ideas into places and look them over which is not possible when confronted by such lovely, loving and loved ones that have been coming and going among the wet and falling leaves. I wander around in these familiar rooms full of familiar objects finishing conversations I could not process during the too fast moments, realizing what this friend or that was trying to say that I only caught part of or regretting not being present enough to ask a clarifying question or make a supportive comment, but such is my downfall in the moment I become overwhelmed by all the thoughts in the room flying like confetti glittering catching my eye here and there dragging me away from a cogent reaction in a vague warm feeling of despair. It all only makes sense to me when I can lay it out and look at all the pieces each person contributes to the puzzle that I can respond meaningfully.
I am remembering a dream from last night about my childhood and Ciely when we were camping at the dig with my parents and her father. All the crates of plaster covered fossils, stacked in a maze, and I wanting to race through, but Ciely taking my arm and skipping and making me skip in unison and Benny joining so the three of skipping down the shadowed paths between the crates, having to accommodate to each other’s speed, but still fast enough to feel a little perilous joy in the precision of our combined movements, Ciely singing a made up song about boxes of bones all round.
Those days were sun drenched and hollowed out with spaces of pure sloth as we sat around poking at the dirt with sticks or invented little games of skill that never amount to much in the world except when the remembered combined creative moment and the perfection in which the game suited the players and place and time. The games were everything and laying about deciding what to do in the heat of summer in the desolate hills of Dakota among the tall grass and dirt and water flowing. There was an expanse of time that seemed infinite, now closed down to a few flickers that still contain that feeling of infinity. When the rain fell then it was drenching and wild with lightening and echoing booms of thunder in all directions. I am losing my train of thought, I think. I am unsure if I am writing about time or place or weather or the feeling of seeing life at such a distance of time. It is another life I once lived. Each moment seems the start of another life sometimes when I was ready for a change of possibilities when they opened like the veined roads on a big city map.